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Ronaldo vs Hazard: Career Comparison at Madrid

As of the 2019/20 season, Eden Hazard is officially a Real Madrid player. The latest of a series of ‘Galactico’ signings, Hazard was bought from Chelsea for a whopping €100 million, plus performance-based add-ons. As Real Madrid’s joint-record signing and the flagbearer of the number 7 jersey’s legacy, Hazard has a lot of pressure on his shoulders to deliver the goods. His predecessor, Cristiano Ronaldo, is plying his trade in Juventus, and at the age of 34, is showing no signs of slowing down.

Although it is unfair to compare the careers of Hazard and Ronaldo at Madrid so soon; Hazard having only played 11 games for his new club, Ronaldo set down a marker which will be hard for Hazard to match, let alone surpass. How were these two extraordinary players received by the Los Blancos faithful when they first arrived?

11th June 2009 – Cristiano Ronaldo Signs for Real Madrid

The 11th of June 2009 marked the start of a new era at Real Madrid. Real Madrid signed Cristiano Ronaldo on a six-year contract, from Manchester United, for a then world-record fee of £80 million. Fresh off winning yet another Premier League with Manchester United, Ronaldo was received at the Santiago Bernabeu by over 80,000 enthusiastic fans. 

 None of the fans present at the Bernabeu that day would have envisioned Ronaldo to break several goal-scoring records by the time he departed the club after the 2017/18 season. Ronaldo was presented with the number 9 jersey, which he wore for one season. After Raul Gonzalez departed the club to join Schalke during the 2010/11 season, Cristiano Ronaldo made the number 7 jersey his own.

13th June 2019 – Eden Hazard Signs for Real Madrid

Ten years and two days on from Ronaldo’s unveiling, Eden Hazard fulfilled his childhood dream of signing for Real Madrid. The Belgian national signed a five-year contract, having left Chelsea after helping them lift the Europa League title in the 2018/19 season. Hazard arrived to quite a lot of fanfare, with over 50,000 fans assembling at the Santiago Bernabeu to welcome their new superstar.

Hazard left Chelsea after amassing 110 goals and 92 assists, over a glittering spell of seven years at Stamford Bridge, having won six titles. Hazard was presented without a jersey number on his back, and he eventually inherited the famous number 7 jersey, come the start of 2019/20 season – Mariano gave up his assigned number for Real Madrid’s latest Galactico.

Real Madrid’s new signing, Eden Hazard arrived for pre-season training at Montreal, a reported 7 kilograms overweight, sparking controversy, and raising questions about his professionalism and commitment towards Real Madrid’s cause.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s Career at Real Madrid

It is fair to say that there is not much more Ronaldo could have achieved at Real Madrid. Leaving the club on the back on three consecutive Champions League titles, Ronaldo signed for Juventus at the start of the 2018/19 season, for a reported £88.3 million – A record signing fee for a player aged over 30. Having won one Ballon d’Or award as a Manchester United player, Ronaldo went on to win a whopping four Ballon d’Or as a Real Madrid player – the joint highest along with Lionel Messi.

Individual Awards

When it comes to individual awards, Ronaldo also won FIFA’s ‘The Best’ prize in his last two seasons at the club, and three UEFA ‘Best Player’ awards in his time as a Real Madrid player. He won the Golden Boot four times, as the highest-scoring player among Europe’s top leagues, the Pichichi three times, as the highest goal scorer in La Liga, and has been the top scorer in a Champions League season six times.  

Trophies

 As a Real Madrid player, Ronaldo won four Champions League titles, including three in a row under Zidane’s stewardship in his last three seasons at the club, two La Liga titles, two Copa del Rey trophies, two Supercopa de Espana trophies, three UEFA Super Cups, and three Club World Cups – A staggering trophy cabinet indeed. Among Ronaldo’s most impressive stats for the club is the fact that he broke Raul’s tally of 323 goals for the club in just 310 appearances.

Goal Tally

Ronaldo scored a staggering 451 goals for the club, in a mere 438 games, at an average of 1.03 goals per game! Ronaldo netted 312 goals in La Liga, 105 in the Champions League, 22 in the Copa del Rey, 4 in the Supercopa de Espana, 2 in the European Super Cup, and 6 in the Club World Cup. Ronaldo is the leading goal scorer in the Champions League and had been the competition’s top scorer for his last six years as a Real Madrid player. He also has the most goals scored in a single campaign – 17.

Ronaldo scored 70 headers in all, 298 goals with his right foot, 82 with his left foot, and one more goal with a different part of his body.

Here are some interesting statistics –

  • He scored 85.8% of his goals from within the 18-yard box
  • Ronaldo scored 246 goals in the second half of games – Mentality Giant
  • He scored 34 direct free-kicks, and 79 penalties; rarely missing from the spot

Favourite Opponents

Ronaldo’s favourite opponent, in terms of finding the back of the net, was Sevilla, having scored 27 goals against them. He has also scored 23 goals against Getafe and 22 goals against Atletico Madrid. When it comes to scoring in Europe (European competitions), he has scored 10 goals against Juventus, his current club. In terms of scoring against a particular opponent, Gorka Iraizoz was his favorite goalkeeper, having scored 17 goals past him. Ronaldo has scored 15 goals past Diego Lopez, Claudio Bravo, and Javi Varas.

Eden Hazard’s Career at Real Madrid

Full Debut

Injuries having hampered Eden Hazard’s full debut as a Real Madrid player, Hazard made his full debut against PSG in the Champions League. Adapting to a new team of players, and a new league, is never easy, and Hazard found the going tough. Struggling for match fitness, he looked like a shadow of his former self and was substituted after 70 minutes, without having troubled the scoring sheet. PSG went on to win 3-0.

First Goal

After a few more mediocre, and lethargic performances, Hazard finally got on the score sheet against Granada, as he lifted a delightful lob over the keeper’s head. Real Madrid went on to win the match 4-2.

Back to His Best

The Eden Hazard, we all know, finally arrived against Real Betis. While Real Madrid failed to score, Hazard produced a whole host of chances for his teammates, none of which they converted. He completed six successful dribbles, and drew three fouls, as Real Madrid drew 0-0. Hazard owned Leganes, as Real Madrid ran riot against their opponents, winning the game 5-0. Hazard was the best player on the pitch by miles. In a trademark display of brilliance, he completed seven successful dribbles and drew seven fouls.

Hazard performed admirably against Galatasaray in the Champions League, putting in his best performance of the season in the competition.  While Rodrygo stole the show with a brilliant hat-trick, Hazard completed four successful dribbles and made two key passes.

Best Performance of the Season

Hazard saved his best for the last game before the International break, putting in a superb performance against Eibar, against who Real Madrid won 4-0. Eden Hazard put on a show, and showed a plethora of skills, drawing a foul for a penalty, delivering a dangerous rabona cross, and a cheeky backheel nutmeg during a counterattack. In all, Hazard has scored 1 goal for the club and provided 1 assist.

Conclusion

It is too early to compare the Real Madrid careers of Eden Hazard and Cristiano Ronaldo. Hazard is finally playing at a level, best known to fans. Ronaldo is a Bernabeu legend, and Hazard will have done a magnificent job at the club if he goes on to score 1/3rd of the goals Ronaldo has for the club while winning trophies. It must be kept in mind that Hazard is not a like-for-like replacement for Ronaldo, and he brings his aura to a game. Hazard isn’t a player who scores 40 goals a season. He may go on to be the perfect team player and a superstar in his own right.

Fantasy Football

Keen on managing Ronaldo and Hazard in a league of your own? Play fantasy football! Fantasy football lets you try and hone your skills as a fantasy manager. You can join a public league (open to all), or a private league (for which you need to send out a joining invite). Once you have joined a league, scout for players, and draft a team worthy of contention. As per league results, the players in your squad are allotted points. The best fantasy team, come the end of the season, wins serious cash prizes, gifts, or simply bragging rights!

You must manage your team wisely and drop players who aren’t performing well. Mind you, do not act too hastily, as at times, the player/players you choose to drop, end up performing exceedingly well! Perform your due diligence, go through player stats, and arrange a team of stars. Choosing a mixed bag of players from top teams, and small teams is advised, as not all top team players score, assist, or maintain a clean sheet every week, while some star players in small teams carry their team forward, and are more likely to score more points. May the battle begin!

MPL Teamhttps://www.mpl.live/
MPL Team - Enjoy reading gaming, fantasy, poker, and rummy articles by the MPL team on the MPL blog.

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