Eden Hazard’s big-money move to Real Madrid certainly hasn’t gone to plan so far.
The Belgian forward joined the club in the summer of 2019 after a stunning final season with Chelsea.
He was the latest ‘Galactico’ to join Real Madrid, but the fleet-footed forward has come nowhere close to replicating his previous superstar form in the famous white jersey.
Injuries have hampered Hazard’s first two seasons in the Spanish capital, restricting him to just 38 appearances across all competitions.
The Belgian’s attitude since signing for Real Madrid has also been called into question, especially after he infamously arrived to his first pre-season with the club overweight.
It’s not what you expect from one of the most talented footballers of the 21st century and former Chelsea winger Damien Duff has now criticised Hazard’s attitude.
Less than a week before the Blues host Real Madrid at Stamford Bridge, the Irishman has boldly stated that the Belgian has “never been a top pro”.
“You’d worry for him going forward,” Duff said to RTE, per Marca.
“He’s 30, he relies on sharpness, being a quick dribbler. We all know after 30 it’s downhill.
“He’s never been a top pro and he’s never had the drive of [Lionel] Messi and [Cristiano] Ronaldo. If he did, you’d probably be mentioning him with them two players.
“He turned up for his first pre-season at Real Madrid – as a Galactico [after paying] 160 million [euros] – overweight. Fat. Call it what you want.
“You’d worry for him, because he’s had 11 injuries and to come back from 11 injuries – and he’s hardly played in two years – you need to have drive, you need to be a top pro.
“You could argue that throughout his career, he’s always battled with his weight.
“To be signed by Real Madrid [for] 160 million euros, you turn up to pre-season in the shape of your life.
“And he turned up overweight because he was on holiday. I’m not having that. I hate aiming it at a player, but it’s always been aimed at him anyway.”
It’s a controversial take, but one that’s also hard to disagree with.
While Hazard has enjoyed a brilliant career, there will always be the lingering feeling that the 30-year-old could have achieved far more with his unquestionable talent.