By Preye Campbell
But for the ‘timely’ presence of the coronavirus pandemic, league football in Europe would have come to an end by now and we would have set our sights firmly on the EURO tournament.
So, it then shows just how unusual football in 2020 has become, with La Liga, as well as the other top-flight leagues in Europe, restarting football activities after a long period off.
The good thing about this situation is that some teams and their players have now been offered an unlikely chance to right the wrongs or salvage the season with the remaining games left. Eden Hazard, for one, comes topmost in this category.
Fifteen games played for Los Blancos. One goal and four assists. Not the kind of stats you would expect from a global star and a team’s summer marquee signing.
It is not an understatement to say that the Belgian winger is currently in the worst season of his glittering professional career.
A king in London reduced to a mere spectator in Spain, with more than a bout of injuries and inconsistent performances to inspire a sometimes less-inspiring Madrid time.
Of course, we certainly know for sure that Hazard was originally ruled out of the 2020/21 season after picking up an injury in a La Liga game against Levante in February.
Madrid’s no. 7 spending more time on the treatment table than on the field wasn’t exactly a sight for sore eyes in the Madrid fanbase, especially when you consider the indelible marks the previous no. 7s – Raul and of course, Cristiano Ronaldo Dos Santos Aveiro – have left on the Santiago Bernabeu.
So, this massive change in the script of European football should come as an inspiration to Zinedine Zidane’s men, who are two points behind leaders, Barcelona with eleven games left in La Liga’s restart.
More important, Hazard should be the most inspired player in that locker room. An opportunity to salvage a terrible individual season should be grasped hungrily with both hands. We all know what the winger is capable of, with countless showings of magic at one particular Stamford Bridge.
Now that he is fit again, he could come in as a new signing, ready to spur Madrid to become Kings of Spain.
It is certainly something the teammates, the coaches and the Madrid fanbase are anticipating.
With that in mind, a much refuelled Hazard alone knows the gauntlet has just been tossed.
We await Eibar tomorrow at the Bernabeu.