Eden Hazard is reflected in the talent

Journey into the psyche of a (rotten) phenomenon.

In Greek mythology, the hunters were punished by God daffodil He falls in love with his image reflected in the water. He caresses her so much that he lowers his arms to touch her, but the feeling disappears immediately. A daily nursery rhyme that lasts until Narcissus decides to let die, just a stone’s throw from where he saw his reflection.

After receiving a divine gift in modern football, the footballer Hazard he falls in love with his talent. He pampers it, sometimes abuses it, and enchants himself and those who watch him. His magical gifts reflect him in a deceptive reflection, which slowly drags him into oblivion. Because in a few years, when asked: “Who were the strongest players of the 1910s of the new millennium?“Unfortunately, the little Belgian elf won’t come to mind for many people.

At just 32 years old, Eden Hazard decided to do so stopwhich finally concludes the parable lost love that he had undertaken in recent years.

The four seasons at Real Madrid marked his slow decline, which for him was a veritable gilded cage consisting of many millions of euros, but also injuries and fluctuating performances. Until after last year, when he had already admitted to the team how much it would cost «It is difficult to return to the level of the past», and in which he had staked everything on a World Cup that later turned out to be a failure – for him and his Belgium – Hazard announced his retirement. He couldn’t take it anymore. «You have to listen to yourself and say “enough” at the right moment», he wrote on Instagram in the post with which he said goodbye to football official.

Eden therefore decided to listen to his body and especially to his head, which may have deserted him in recent years. «It’s time to enjoy life with my family and friends. And drink a few Jupiler beers», he said, laughing (like Pulcinella) in the documentary about the Belgian national team released in September. The intention was maintained even though not even US dollars or Saudi riyals tempted him. Be that as it may, the Belgian is someone who is on the pitch He always wanted to have fun and entertain.

A selection of the best of Eden Hazard during his time at Lille

danger is Black or white, all or nothing. His parents had decided this after a few moments of their lives. This child with the bright eyes and the angelic face could only be called Eden. And so the future was set, with his heavenly talent sanctifying him on the pitch. But the last name hid the other side of the coin. Danger, Gambling, risk. The one that trips him up when he decides to rely too much on his innate skills and his dribbling skills, settling down and neglecting crucial aspects such as physical fitness and concentration.

His former teammates at Chelsea confirmed this paradox. John Obi Mikel, Blues halfback for more than a decade, defined it the laziest player I’ve ever seen“, “The laziest player I have ever seen”. Filipe Luís, Hazard’s squadmate on the left wing, said he saw him playing Mario Kart in the dressing room a few minutes after the pre-match warm-up. And industry insiders like Carlos Forjanes, a journalist from, have expressed the same opinion AS and sent to follow Real Madrid, which has remembered Hazard’s difficulty lies in not «I sneak into the kitchen and constantly eat snacks».

But then the Belgian dramatically changed the balance on the pitch, at least during his time at Chelsea. A carelessness, or if you want to put it, a carelessness that turned into a flood of dribbles and goals in front of the opponents’ eyes. Many exceptional goals, such as the goal against Arsenal in February 2017, were voted the best of his career by fans. In the personal action that begins in your own half of the field and ends in the opponent’s area, The danger is omnipresent: Control, low center of gravity, ball sticks to the feet, dribbling and coolness in front of the goal.

It is no coincidence that he is one of his greatest admirers Jose Mourinho, who has reinforced and protected him over the years at Chelsea, particularly towards referees and opponents. «If this continues, we risk never seeing Eden Hazard again» he said in a press conference after the Belgian had again suffered many fouls. «It protects me and allows me the freedom to express myself without filling my head with details» replied Eden, aware that the Portuguese coach was treating him like a son. But Mou is the same one who proved devastating a few summers ago when the ten Red Devils were linked with Roma:

“He is an exceptional player who trains terribly. When he plays, you don’t see the reflection of a work week, just that Reflection of his talent».

A talent that – golden generation Apart from Belgium, he managed to win everything, as a technical leader and a driving force, often even with the captain’s armband on his arm. The historian double – Ligue 1 and Coupe de France – he made him known to the world with Rudi Garcia’s Lille in the 2010/11 season. The two Premier Leagues and the same number of Europa Leagues with Chelsea put him in the table of the best. The Champions League as a supporting player at Real Madrid made him more successful, but also more fragile. And it’s in the brackets with i Blancos The Eden seemed boring, almost contentlost in a loop from which he could no longer escape.

An existential crisis that, perhaps the big issue, even he can’t explain. «It was hard for me to understand why. What had I done wrong?», he said about his dark times in Madrid, without being able to find a conclusive answer. Because Hazard is not the classic lost love who sacrifices and sacrifices his talent on the altar of beauty or who throws it away for an ideological rejection of the perversions of modern football: He is not Trinche Carlovich or George Best, he is not a rock star or a cursed poet of football, He is not anyone either , who just stays up late in clubs, drinking alcohol and women.

Hazard eats sweets and junk food, plays on the Play Station, trains poorly because he is sluggish and lazy, but all in all rather nihilistic. Maybe it’s simply a matter of indolence, a lack of hunger or a lack of determination to perform at a certain level, but in Hazard’s slow decline – and perhaps worst of all – poetry has been missing. And so the impression is that Eden was a victim of his time, like many thirty-year-olds today who don’t know why and still feel bad, tired and hiding in their eyes an indescribable discomfortwithout a reason.

Nevertheless, the Belgian left some glimpses of it every now and then. Some possible reasons for such great but at the same time silent forgetting. It is the theme of the recurring Narcissus, who ultimately allows himself to die by looking at himself in the mirror. And Hazard’s narcissism is contained in a concept that is more metaphorical than practical: dribbling. «When I start a game I tell myself that I have to dribble: “Today you don’t have to score, today you have to dribble.”».

So the Belgian spoke in a beautiful language interview published in Panenka. «It’s my main quality when I have the ball and see that there is an opportunity to play one-on-one or two-on-one. I don’t think about it one moment. Only at the last moment do I decide whether I can do something else: keep dribbling, shoot at goal or pass. That’s why spectators come to the stadium. And often a dribble is more pleasant than a goal. Then people stand to applaud.. It still is:

“My thinking is that the audience pays to see one football game, one show, six an actor and you have to give him pleasure.

A concept reiterated in an interview with Thierry Henry a few years ago when he said that when his opponents dribbled, he acted instinctively without worrying about who was in front of him. to see us again on YouTube. There he is again, but his narcissistic nature is contaminated with morals and the demands of the public. Aesthetics mixed with ethics. And indeed, Hazard leaves a bad taste: a career halfway between actor and professional, between phenomenon and incompleteness, between the good and the careless. Between love for football and intolerance for football; And not for football in general, his great passion, but for its rhythms, its discipline and its hierarchies.

“A Coach is not like a school teacher That tells you, ‘You have to do this or by tomorrow you have to complete these tasks.’ I was able to do my best with the coaches who gave me freedom.

Hazard, who perhaps just wanted to be left alone, said nothing more. Living peacefully and sinking into his talent, not sacrificed but slowly fading out, so much so that what really defined him as a footballer and as a man was that instinct: the one that was on the field before he was taught Naturally led to him discarding his opponentto try this dribbling that Carmelo Bene did not define by chance Escape from the body (to the body), and thus also out of the field. By dribbling, Eden wanted to escape from himself, from fatigue, from teaching. To the point that you see them again in the circle at home, these dribbles: to escape again, to escape better. Until you sink into it.

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