Belgian star Eden Hazard all set to go Real Madrid which will see him departing Chelsea after the team from London trounced Arsenal 4-1 in the Europa League final in Baku, on Wednesday. If his deal to Madrid works out properly, a red carpet welcome awaits him with the striker already lauded in Spain as a legend following his two-goal strike against The Gunners.
“It’s Hazta La Vista,” wrote the Sun in characteristic style while the The Guardian and The Times settled for ‘Hazard’s golden goodbye’ and the Daily Mail lingered over the player’s post-match ‘goodbye kiss’ to Chelsea fans in the Baku stands.
Speaking after the Europa League final, Hazard chose not to disclose much about his move but dropped subtle hint about his departure. He said, “I think it’s a goodbye, but in football you never know.” But for the media, it’s already a done deal bringing to an end Hazard’s astonishing seven year stint in the English Premier League.
“When Maurizio Sarri allowed him to leave the pitch to a prolonged ovation, the cheering mingled with more than a few sighs,” wrote Oliver Brown in the Daily Telegraph. “For once the joy of this Europa League triumph subsides, the club can scarcely bear to contemplate what they will be missing,” the journalist added.
The Sun heaved praise on the player who they said came to Chelsea as “one of the most promising players in Europe” and departs as the real deal “Chelsea legend.” The Daily Mirror recounted to the football fans of England what a big loss it would be for them as it said, “The loss of a player of Hazard’s quality would be keenly felt by the Premier League as a whole.” It further said that the joy brought by the Europa League victory would be tempered for Chelsea by Hazard’s impending departure. “The elephant in the room, of course, is that this was a victory achieved with Eden Hazard, perhaps the last for Chelsea, and it only served to emphasise how much he will be missed,” wrote their chief sports writer Martin Samuel.
The Telegraph injected a sense of criticism in their lavid praise for the player as they wrote, “Hazard will be paraded (at Real Madrid’s Bernabeu) as a successor to Cristiano Ronaldo, but he has neither the strike-rate nor the precision in his finishing to support such a comparison.”
Spanish sports daily Marca brushed aside negative appraisals, saluting Hazard as pure “Belgian genius,” who was coming to Spain as a “champion.” The As daily splashed a photo of Hazard with the Europa trophy and said he had delivered a “masterclass of genius” on the Baku turf, scoring two goals and making a third. “He is 28 and everything points to him becoming the lynchpin of a new Real Madrid under Zidane,” said As, amid reports of an impending 150 million euro deal, making Hazard the most expensive acquisition in the history of the Spanish giants.
Reportedly, Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane is a huge fan of Hazard and club president Florentino Perez has spoken of his hope of bringing the Belgian footballer who has won two Premier League titles with The Blues Of London.