Chelsea loanee Saul Niguez has explained why Eden Hazard has flopped at La Liga giants Real Madrid.
Hazard helped Chelsea win two Premier League titles, two UEFA Europa Leagues and the FA Cup during his seven-year spell at Stamford Bridge.
Scoring 110 goals in 352 games for the Blues, Hazard established himself as a firm fans’ favourite at the club before completing a stunning transfer move to Real Madrid worth more than £100m.
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Much was expected of Hazard when he arrived in Spain in 2019 but he failed to hit the ground running and continues to underwhelm, having scored only six goals over the past three years.
Niguez believes Hazard has endured a frustrating spell at Santiago Bernabeu primarily because it is a ‘totally different game’ in Spain and requires another skill set to excel.
Chelsea midfielder Niguez, currently on loan from Atletico Madrid, is well placed to pinpoint the differences between English and Spanish football and feels this is why Hazard has flopped.
Asked about the differences between English football and La Liga, Niguez told Chelsea’s official website: ‘They are totally different. Over there, it’s much more tactical, whereas here it’s more physical and a bit crazier.
‘There’s more back and forth, it’s less about having control of the game and more about entertaining the fans. You can do things here that you really can’t do in La Liga.
‘For example, I was talking to my friends the other day about Eden Hazard. ‘When he was here, he was easily one of the best players in the world and then he goes to La Liga and has his own difficulties because it’s a totally different game.
‘Here he had more one-vs-ones and two-vs-ones but in La Liga, because everyone knows how good his team is and how good he is, other teams make it much more difficult for him.
‘Here it’s happening a bit in reverse, although I think it’s a bit easier to adapt from La Liga to the Premier League than from the Premier League to La Liga.’
Hazard has scored only one goal in 17 games for Real Madrid this campaign. And Carlo Ancelotti’s side are currently four points clear of Sevilla at the top of the La Liga table.