Spanish press target Eden Hazard for his reaction to Champions League defeat 1 month ago

Spanish press target Eden Hazard for his reaction to Champions League defeat

"Another Bale."

When the team news was announced for the second leg of Real Madrid's Champions League semi-final against Chelsea, Eden Hazard's inclusion came as somewhat of a surprise.

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Since getting his dream move to Real Madrid, Hazard has not been a success in Spain. He has spent most of his time injured, played just 40 games in two seasons, scoring a grand total of four goals in that time. It's not exactly Chelsea form that earned him the €130m move.

But he started at Stamford Bridge. Maybe Zidane thought returning to Stamford Bridge would inspire a performance from the Belgian who used to terrorise Premier League defences with seemingly minimal effort. Real Madrid also needed to score at least once, having conceded in the home leg.

It didn't work. Hazard appeared unfit, reluctant to embark on the sort of dribbles that made him so entertaining during his seven years in England, and failed to make any meaningful impact on the game as Madrid were knocked out Thomas Tuchel's side.

And if the performance wasn't bad enough for Hazard, his actions following the final whistle made him into public enemy number one in Madrid.

While his teammates went into the changing room, gutted to have come so close to reaching another European final, Hazard stayed out on the pitch for a bit to catch up with some of his old colleagues.

And it wouldn't have been so bad had he not been seen laughing and joking around with Kurt Zouma.

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Screenshots and video snippets of their exchange quickly went viral on social media and caused a storm among the Madrid based press, who are famously unsympathetic to anything other than utter devotion to the Spain's royal club.

Spain's late night football chat show El Chiringuito, which likes to think of itself as a serious debating platform, but in reality is a cartoonish parody of the spoiled stereotype of Madridismo, lead with the Hazard incident, and then discussed nothing else for about an hour.

They were probably grateful to have something to deflect attention away from Madrid's woefully subpar performance that not even Karim Benzema could save them from.

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Here is the opening sequence from the show. Host Josep Pedrerol describes Hazard as "another Bale," and says he cannot continue at Madrid. Harsh, I think. At least Bale scored a lot of good goals before he got to this point.

Throughout the show, various panelists proceeded to lose their rag on live television, exclaiming what a disgrace to the badge Hazard was. For smiling.

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"There are some players who come to Real Madrid, but Real Madrid does not go into them," said José Luis Sánchez, a journalist for various Spanish outlets.

Other pundits suggested the problem with Hazard, in contrast to the Bale situation before, is that the Belgian is Zidane's teacher's pet.

Another pundit, Edu Aguirre, said: It's sad, but this is Hazard. A player with tremendous quality, but he is not professional."

He continued, explaining that Madrid fans have suffered over the past few years, and that this was the most important game of their last three seasons and he should have, therefore, at least pretended to be upset by the defeat.

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They even posted a poll, asking their followers if Hazard should be sold immediately. To be fair, 'no' is winning, but it's pretty close. Good luck finding a buyer anyway.

Is it any wonder Florentino Perez is desperate for a Super League when he's blowing over €100m on 30-year-old players who can't even give him one good season?