Eden Hazard must still be feeling the sense of relief from scoring his first competitive goal for Real Madrid.
The Belgium international netted late in the first half of Los Blancos’ 4-2 win against Granada at the Santiago Bernabeu earlier this month.
And it was no simple tap-in; it was the type of classy finish we’ve come to expect of Hazard after seven prolific years at Chelsea.
The ball broke to him in the attacking third before he burst away from a cluster of defenders and caressed a perfect lob over the goalkeeper.
Not a bad way to open your account at one of the biggest clubs in world football, even if it did take five-and-a-half matches.
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Reflecting on Hazard’s performance, Zinedine Zidane said: “We need to see Eden like this, playing well, and scoring goals.
“He wanted that, he was happy in the dressing room after the game and we hope this is the first of many.”
Hazard will be all too aware he needs to remind people why Madrid paid £150 million to replace Cristiano Ronaldo a year after he left for Juventus.
Such an enormous task inherently comes with great expectations, which in turn has seen the 28-year-old come under fire for his lacklustre start in the capital.
Hazard, however, claims the critics don’t bother him because he’s yet to fully grasp the language of the land.
“I still don't speak Spanish, so I don't pay attention to criticism,” Hazard joked, per The Sun.
“I know that a lot of people talk about Real Madrid everywhere and that's why I'm here. I have not had any difficult weeks in Madrid so far.”
His resilience, whether intentional or not, should serve him well at a club where those who don’t pull their weight are quickly replaced.
But Arsene Wenger is confident Hazard will come good once he rediscovers his peak physical condition.
“He will be the answer but not in replacing Ronaldo that is for sure. He will not score 50 goals a year because that's now how they play football,” Wenger told beIN Sports, per AS.
“Eden Hazard is an exceptional player to create chances and to sometimes finish when he needs to in big games.
“He's not scared of anybody. I don't think Real have yet to see the real Hazard, he's not as sharp physically as he can be.
“That’s why I believe they will discover the real Hazard.”News Now - Sport News