One thing always leads to another, except at Real Madrid.
When the 32-year-old, €100 million ($110 million)-plus Eden Hazard grabbed the ball midway through the game and headed into the penalty area of Real Valladolid in Sunday’s 6-0 win, he should have helped another superstar. , another shining moment in line with the huge sums spent on him.
In fact, the most expensive signing at one of the world’s most decorated clubs who achieved a sixth goal was nothing short of extraordinary. It was Hazard’s first goal in six months and the latest assist in a four-year spell in the Spanish capital – soon to be five, with his contract expiring in 2024.
The discussion about the problems of football has become boring because it has changed a little at number 7. All the while, Hazard, who must also think about the upcoming Copa del Rey clásico and the final – equates to real and high-quality football. Predictions represent very little.
When the Belgian showed himself earlier, Karim Benzema – three years older – did what he has been doing for a long time. This time, it defied age and imagination, as he scored a hat-trick in the first seven minutes, the fastest hat-trick for Los Blancos in their league history.
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It wasn’t supposed to be like this. Then again, nothing is right now. While Hazard did the unexpected, striker Mariano Díaz – there to ease the pressure on Benzema – could be away. On loan at Girona, 21-year-old Reiner Jesus is on the verge of death, a talent who left Madrid for glory, which looked good after his red card against Espanyol. Debunking the idea that cheaters bring success, Benzema and Modric are still the men who steal the show all these seasons later.
All of this falls back on the same eye-opener. After Brendan Rodgers and Graham Potter finished in the Premier League at Leicester City and Chelsea, the two La Liga boards also entered. Espanyol’s management confirmed that Diego Martínez was no longer the leading man. Then Valladolid owner and Brazilian legend Ronaldo Nazario oversaw the sacking of boss Pacheta following a heavy loss to Madrid. The roles did not go as expected.
All La Liga teams are pulling the plug showing how difficult the next game is. Having the same boss, even one who seems to be at one with Ronaldo and the club as Pacheta was, has been dangerous because Valladolid, along with eight teams – and a financial hit could happen if the bad results continue. Espanyol have appointed former player Luis García as manager.
The situation at Chelsea is particularly telling. Whether you agree or disagree with Potter’s dismissal, the west London side represent a €551 million ($600 million) long-term sporting and financial project, which is off to a rocky start. This does not include the £35 million ($38 million) fee paid to Potter’s former club Brighton for ten games won at Stamford Bridge.
Again, it didn’t have to be this way. Neither is the sudden drop in Liverpool where Jürgen Klopp is playing. Neither did Juventus’ rival in Italy – he was criticized for his financial problems and the lack of power in the league to match his name and roster. In other words, Arsenal’s persistence with a seemingly doomed project is finally paying off and could bring home the crown.
Back in Spain, La Liga champions Barcelona are facing a tough time. UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin says Negreira’s legal case involving Barcelona is so difficult, the situation could be complicated if a European power like the Blaugrana has to endure sanctions – which could derail the league’s best campaign of all time.
Descriptions are falling. And the end result is long-term projects, whether signing or appointing managers, is not always the case. Instead, clubs often make smart bets on longevity and cheap acquisitions – both on and off the pitch. Just ask Real’s staff how Hazard’s plan worked.