The demise of Eden Hazard: From Chelsea icon to Real Madrid's worst-ever signing

Eden Hazard Demise GFXGOAL

How did we get here? Eden Hazard made a massive-money move from Chelsea to Real Madrid in June 2019, and appeared poised to be the next face of La Liga, the latest Galactico to walk out at Santiago Bernabeu and impose himself as one of Europe's greats.

Los Blancos, remember, had lost Cristiano Ronaldo a year previous, and with Gareth Bale struggling for fitness and Vinicius Jr. yet to find his feet, Hazard seemed set to be Madrid's winger of the future. And at 28, he still had plenty of football left.

Four years later, Hazard isn't in a Madrid shirt anymore. He might not even play football again. The Belgian scored just seven goals, and added a meagre 12 assists during his injury-ravaged spell in the Spanish capital. He only managed 76 appearances, and over four years, failed to better the production of his best season at Stamford Bridge. To say that he was a disappointment was an understatement.

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Some of this, of course, was of Hazard's own making. The winger was irresponsible at times, failing to look after himself and drawing the ire of Madrid fans for a questionable commitment to the shirt. But he was also immensely unlucky, a victim of a recurring ankle injury that limited the trickery and explosiveness of his earlier days.

It all amounted to an opportunity wasted, transfer budget spurned, and - as he considers retirement at 32 - a career potentially cut short for a player who should have been one of the game's greats. GOAL takes a look at where it all went wrong for Hazard at Madrid...