The curious case of Eden Hazard: Rudiger still thinks he's got it but have disgruntled Real Madrid fans seen enough?

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Eden Hazard Real Madrid 2021-22
The Blancos splashed out €100 million when luring the Belgian playmaker away from Chelsea in 2019, but have seen little return on that investment

Real Madrid thought they were acquiring a global superstar and potential Ballon d’Or contender when luring Eden Hazard away from Chelsea, but the Belgium international has struggled to live up to his billing at Santiago Bernabeu.

The Blancos parted with €100 million (£86m/$108m) when acquiring a player who impressed in the Premier League.

Hazard has however struggled for form and fitness throughout his time in Spain with only six goals in 66 appearances, and serious questions have been asked, particularly by those in the stands, of whether the 31-year-old is worth keeping.

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Does Hazard have a future at Real Madrid?

The man himself has vowed to stay put and prove his worth, while Blancos boss Carlo Ancelotti has suggested he is happy to wipe the slate clean in 2022-23.

Hazard will have another familiar face alongside him next season, with Antonio Rudiger treading his own path from Chelsea to Madrid as a free agent this summer, and the Germany international defender remains convinced a player he knows all about will come good.

Rudiger told Marca of Hazard: “I'm very happy to be with Eden again, now at Madrid.

“I know it's been a tough few years for him, with a lot of injuries and problems, but I still hope Madrid fans can see the Hazard I played with, because he was undoubtedly one of the best players in the world.”

What do Real Madrid fans think about Hazard?

By Jorge Picon, Real Madrid correspondent

The feeling in Madrid with Eden is that he has been very unlucky with injuries. He has not been able to play with regularity and, when he has been available, two great young players like Vinicius and Rodrygo have appeared and eclipsed him.

There is no anger, but disappointment. The fans have not been able to see the great player that emerged at Chelsea.

However, his professionalism has been highly valued, always with a smile despite not playing and celebrating the latest titles with the rest of the team.

After his latest operation, the expectation among the fans has grown. They are aware it will be very difficult for him to recover his best form, but there is hope he can help the team and be important next year, now without pain in his ankle.

At the Champions League celebration, he took the microphone and apologised to the fans for not having lived up to expectations in his first three seasons. Now, it is up to him to regain his physical and mental fitness to help Madrid continue winning titles.

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