Friday, January 28, 2022

Modric Backs His Real Madrid Teammate To Succeed This Year: A Make Or Break Season For Him?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

In a recent interview with El Partidazo de Cope, Luka Modric has backed his Real Madrid teammate Eden Hazard to succeed this year when he said, “It is not a comfortable situation for him. He has come to show that he is one of the best players in the world and I am sure that he will prove it this year. When he was good he has shown that he will be important, but injuries stopped him. It’s a shame because we need him and he will show why Madrid paid so much for him.”

Hazard’s Underwhelming Record At The Spanish Capital

Hazard has so far experienced a lacklustre spell at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium since joining from Chelsea last summer. He failed to play at top gear under the stewardship of Zinedine Zidane in the previous campaign. The Belgian international is currently out of action with a muscle injury, so only time will tell whether he can find some consistency and be a regular performer for the Madrid giants this season.

The 29-year-old featured in just 22 matches for Los Blancos thus far, scoring just one goal and providing seven assists in all competitions. However, Hazard has shown a few glimpses of his brilliance over the past 12 months after he averaged 1.2 shots, 1.3 key passes and 3.1 dribbles per 90 minutes in the 2019-20 La Liga campaign.

The Belgian wing wizard even linked up play well with his teammates in the final third as he made 85.9% of his attempted passes in the Spanish top-flight (stats via whoscored). If he can maintain a clean bill of health over the next few months, then there is no reason why Zidane won’t be able to witness the best of Hazard this season.

Modric backs Real Madrid's Eden Hazard to succeed this year (Hazard is in action in the picture)
Eden Hazard of Real Madrid runs with the ball during the UEFA Champions League group A match between Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain at Bernabeu on November 26, 2019, in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images)

What Are The Belgian Wide Player’s Strengths?

Hazard is one of the fastest players at Zidane’s disposal and can outrun his marker to cause a lot of damage out on the wide areas. When he is firing on all cylinders, he can be a devastating presence in the attacking third because of his knack for driving at defenders and scoring goals.

The 106-time Belgian international could potentially become a talismanic figure for the Madrid giants if he can remain fit by overcoming his injury issues in the coming seasons. Hazard has also got the vision to set up his teammates for an easy tap-in in front of the opposition goal.

Is It A Make Or Break Season For Hazard?

Modric’s backing should act as an added motivation for the ex-Chelsea talent to do well for his current employers. If Zidane wants his players to retain their La Liga crown, then Hazard would have to step up and make a difference for his team week in week out. Hence, this could be a make or break season for the Belgian skipper as he fights towards rediscovering his old form at the highest level.

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