Eden Hazard has completed his transfer to Real Madrid for a fee reported to be in the region of €100 million, making him the clubs equal record signing and the latest Galactico to grace the Bernabeu pitch.
Hazard was in Madrid to complete his medical, then walked onto the hallowed turf where he kicked balls into the 50,000 strong crowd who were there to witness his unveiling, and posed for photographers before pointing at the crest on his new white jersey and kissing the badge, leaving Madrid fans ecstatic with their new signing.
Despite the buzz surrounding his signing, Hazard was quick to temper expectations, reminding fans and media that he is not a Galactico yet, and that there is a lot of work to be done on the pitch.
“I’m not a Galactico, not yet. I hope I will be one day. Despite everything I’ve done in the past, it will be like beginning from zero. In football you can always improve, you never reach the limit. I am in a good moment of my career, but this team can allow me to raise the bar further.”
Hazard, a boyhood Madrid fan, believes that despite interest from the club 12 months earlier, he made the right decision to stay with Chelsea for one more season before making the switch.
“I have had various stages in my career, Lille, Chelsea, now I felt the time was right to join the best club in the world,” he said. “I don’t think it is too late, I am 28 years old, the top moment for a player. Everything began last year, after the World Cup.
“I spoke with Florentino Perez at an award event in London and he told me to come to Madrid, which made me happy. But I stayed one more year at Chelsea. I think things went very well personally, and also with the team, winning the Europa League. This is the perfect time to join Real Madrid.”
After a disastrous 2018/19 campaign that saw the reigning Champions League champions give up their title without a whimper in a season that finished trophy less, Hazard understands the pressure will be on from day one when the new season gets underway.
“Real Madrid have won many titles over the last five years, last season was not so good, but this happens in football,” he said. “I hope to help begin a new cycle, with new players, alongside those still here who have won so much.”
As fans waited for Hazard to be presented, chants of ‘we want Mbappe’ rang out from the crowd. With Madrid’s revamp already topping over €300 million this summer, it remains to be seen if the fans will get their wish of seeing Mbappe and Hazard terrorising opponents in the near future.