At the same time, Real Madrid expected the Belgian to spark again in 2020-21. The €100 million addition at Santiago Bernabeu since the summer of 2019 failed to fire during his debut campaign in Spain.

Eden Hazard is alongside Leo Messi

In the best version of Eden Hazard, the striker sat “alongside Lionel Messi” in the global talent pool, Fernando Morientes claims. At the same time, Real Madrid expected the Belgian to spark again in 2020-21. The €100 million addition at Santiago Bernabeu since the summer of 2019 failed to fire during his debut campaign in Spain. Big things were expected of Hazard after the move from Chelsea. Which has been discussed for some time. But the issues of form and fitness conspired against him. However, Hazard has shown that he can perform at the elite level in the past and is encouraged to hit those heights again if he can stay away from the healing table.

 

Morientes believes the 29-year-old can be as prolific as six-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi. When at the top of his game and hopes to see all of Real’s leading lights shining defending Liga champions open their new campaign.

The best Hazard

The former Blancos striker told reporters: “The best Hazard, the best Rodrygo, the best Marco Asensio or the best Vinicius, accompanied by the responsibility and experience of Karim Benzema, is a good starting point. The signing this year was already done last summer because he hasn’t exploded yet. But he is next to Messi if he’s at his best. The academy players can be important in the medium to long term too”. French striker Benzema was the man who stepped up, with the 32-year-old logging 27 goals in all competitions – taking him to 57 across the two campaigns since Cristiano Ronaldo left for Juventus. Morientes added to the veteran frontman: “He showed that it was enough to command the attack because the people around were not in their best condition.”

Real Madrid, who enjoyed a stunning conclusion to the 2019-20 campaign as they pipped Clasico rivals Barcelona’s to the Liga title. They are set to open their crown’s defense when they take part in the trip to Real Sociedad on 20 September. Zinedine Zidane will be hoping everyone will be back by then. At the same time, there is also the chance that further sales could be sanctioned ahead of the big start. With Wales international Gareth Bale seemingly set to follow Everton’s new boy James Rodriguez through the weekend doors.