Today Eden Hazard was announced as the latest signing for Real Madrid CF. Real Madrid got their latest galactico from Chelsea Football Club, of which I have been a devoted fan for as long as I can remember. Eden Hazard was our best player for the last couple of years. At Chelsea, Eden Hazard was one of the best players in the world. There are no two ways about it. But when Eden Hazard signed with us, was handed the #17 shirt and later the #10, we always knew that he wasn’t going to be ‘ours’ for the rest of his career. You see, as I understand it, Eden Hazard has been a fan of Real Madrid all of his life, and when Zinedine Zidane, Hazard’s idol, returned to manage Los Blancos, we all knew that his time at Chelsea was likely up. Eden Hazard in Madrid’s white jersey was always going to happen. It was written in the stars, even though I wish he would’ve stayed with us for the rest of his career.
It has pained me to hear these constant rumors about him leaving, it pains me to see him sign for another team, and I’m sure it will be tough to see him play in the Real Madrid jersey. It feels inevitable that he will one day play against us while playing for Real Madrid. I hope that he’ll still treat us and my fellow Chelsea fans well. I hope that he never plays for another English club. I hope that one day, he will return to the club in some way, shape, or form, though that may be a pipe dream. But Eden Hazard deserves to get to play for Real Madrid. He has been the perfect player and role model while playing for us. Yes, he was always honest about his intentions to one day play for Real Madrid, but I always thought he was very respectful about it, unlike another former Blue who now plays in goal for Los Blancos. Eden Hazard has done everything he could for Chelsea Football Club. Eden Hazard deserves to chase his dream. He’ll always be a Chelsea FC legend, to me.
People like to argue about the legendary status at football clubs. But I do believe he belongs among the true legends of our football club. He may not be as iconic of a Chelsea player as Lampard, Terry, or Drogba. But, as a player, he is just as gifted, just very different from those three players. He is one of the best players to ever play in Chelsea blue. I feel privileged to have seen him play for us. It feels incredibly sad to think about the fact that another legend is of the past. But I’m proud of what he achieved here. He worked his ass off for the club. He ended up playing 352 games for Chelsea FC and scoring 110 goals. At the time of writing — June 6th, 2019 — he ranks ninth on the list of all-time Chelsea goalscorers (54 goals behind Drogba at #4 and 101 goals behind Frank Lampard at #1).
Eden Hazard ended his first season in Chelsea blue with a Europa League winner’s medal around his neck, and his final competitive game for Chelsea was the Europa League final against Arsenal, in which he scored twice, where he earned himself another winner’s medal. He’s not the first Chelsea legend to leave the club as the matchwinner of a final in a European cup. We’ve seen that before. To have that be his final game is almost poetic.
“I’m signing for the Champions League winner.” – Eden Hazard on Twitter, 28 May 2012.
I’ll remember him as our lovable, cheeky Belgian magician. I’ll never forget how happy he made me when he tweeted that he was going to our club after we won the Champions League in 2012. I’ll probably always remember my dad’s nickname for him (‘Mr. Glue,’ i.e. he doesn’t give the ball away). I’ll always remember how he couldn’t pronounce ‘Shrewsbury’ right. I’ll always remember him as one of the most gifted players to ever wear the Chelsea blue shirt. He deserves to be called a true Chelsea Football Club legend. I wish you well, Eden. Thank you for everything you did for Chelsea Football Club.
– Jeffrey Rex Bertelsen.
- Eden Hazard has released the following statement on Facebook:
“To my Chelsea friends and family,
You now know that I will be joining Real Madrid. It’s no secret that it was my dream to play for them since I was a young boy just scoring my first goal. I have tried my very best not to distract myself or the team through this difficult period of speculation and media attention, especially the last 6 months.
Now the Clubs have reached an agreement I hope you understand I had to pursue my next chapter, just as each and every one of you should when you have the chance to pursue your dreams. Leaving Chelsea is the biggest and toughest decision in my career to date. Now it’s in the open I would like to put on record one thing was always clear to me, I have loved every moment at Chelsea and not once did I ever consider, nor would I have left for any other Club.
I was only 21 when I joined, so I have grown up as a man and a player with all of you, you have helped me become Captain of the Belgium National team after all. There have of course been tough times, for the team as a whole and for me personally, this is professional football. However, football to me is about having a ball at my feet, playing games and enjoying every moment, we are lucky to play the beautiful game and this is always my advice to those who ask for a coaching tip! Play football and have fun!
Even when we were not playing well, I tried to do my best and this has been thanks to your amazing support. That fighting spirit, desire and the refusal to ever give up is part of the culture here at Chelsea and it comes directly from you.
When I think back over my special moments in a Chelsea shirt, there are so many, we are lucky to win many more games than we have lost. Those who know me understand it is not me to list what I have won, all I can say is each and every award both as a team and as an individual have been incredible. One day I will be able to sit down over a beer and talk about or laugh with pride about my missed penalty that set up my header to win the league against Palace, or those goals against Tottenham, Arsenal or Liverpool.
The memories are so vivid because of the atmosphere and occasion you create, I hope you always remember them with pride, as I do. Whether it’s on tour in the USA, or at Sunderland on a Tuesday night, in Russia on a Thursday, or of course EVERY game at The Bridge – you’ve always supported me and encouraged me to play football and be me – Like I have enjoyed myself I hope you have enjoyed yourselves, I am only sorry not leave with a defending award amongst my honours!
We have many great players and my proudest moments were always as part of the team. We’ve won the FA Cup, League Cups, Europa Leagues and Premier Leagues all as a family. Each one so special in its own way and of course the game in Baku a couple of weeks ago is the perfect way to sign off from a long tough season after the World Cup.
Chelsea and especially Chelsea fans will always be special to me and next season I will look for your results first. I hope that we are drawn against each other in the Champions League next season and every season so we can meet again.
Before I go, one last thank you to everyone at the Club for their tremendous effort as we lived through every moment. To all of my ex-Colleagues we will say our goodbyes at the right time but I must thank the owner Mr Abramovich and his board for helping me realise not one, but two dreams, my first in becoming a Chelsea player and today my second, becoming a player at Real Madrid.
I wish each and every one of you the very best my friends.