Rivaldo Exclusive: 'Spectacular' Hazard would be a real tonic for Real Madrid
In this week's exclusive column, Betfair Ambassador Rivaldo urges Real Madrid to do their best to capture Eden Hazard from the Chelsea after the Belgian admitted the Spanish giants were his 'dream club'...
"In my opinion, Hazard could play even better at Real Madrid than in England as Spanish football gives a little more freedom to the players. So if he is already producing masterpieces in the Premier League, he could get even better in Spain."
Hazard a superb fit for Real Madrid
The Belgian attacker is a great player and could be a very good option for his 'dream club' Real Madrid in the next transfer window. Hazard was excellent for Belgium at the World Cup and has started the new Premier League season very well.
For that reason, Real Madrid should be considering his signing, especially given their recent poor form and Hazard's stated desire to play at the Bernabeu.
This kind of move could be good for the club and fans, as the arrival of a top player would give a much needed boost after Cristiano Ronaldo's departure. Hazard is very talented, scores goals and assists a lot - he's a spectacular player who I particularly appreciate.
In my opinion, Hazard could play even better at Real Madrid than in England as Spanish football gives a little more freedom to the players. So if he is already producing masterpieces in the Premier League, he could get even better in Spain.
Julen Lopetegui in danger
When you are manager of a big team which is used to winning titles and has won three Champions League in three years it's obvious that press and fans will put pressure on your shoulders if you are not generating good results.
In football, the first head to roll is always the manager, and despite the fact Lopetegui is only at the start of his tenure in Madrid, he cannot for instance go out of Champions League too early or let someone go away at the top of La Liga table.
If that happens, the possibility of being replaced for another manager will mount. In a big club no one wants to wait for results, as they are used to winning regularly.
Personally, I think it's too early to start mentioning possible candidates to replace Lopetegui as he deserves more time to work on improving the team's quality.
Big two's struggles are good for La Liga
The slow starts for Barcelona and Real Madrid are a positive for La Liga as a whole, showing that clubs such as Atletico, Valencia or Sevilla can also compete for top places, and competition is always a good thing.
There are some leagues in Europe that are almost decided after just eight or nine fixtures. In Serie A, I think no one believes Juventus could let the title run away from them, and in France, Neymar's team PSG is also very comfortable at the top and looking unstoppable.
I like the way things are going in Spain, not knowing who the champions are going to be and five or six clubs fighting at the top of the table. It makes La Liga more attractive.
Messi and who else?
As already mentioned in this column, Lionel Messi is a distinct kind of player from all the others. Luis Suarez is on a bad run of scoring form right now, especially away from home where he hasn't scored for a long time. He is actually playing well but the chances and the luck are not allowing him to find the net more often.
So, it's Messi assuming all responsibility - as one of the best players in the World - and no one can be surprised about his importance on the team.
Of course, it would be nicer to have three or four players on good form to help Messi when he is not at his best. On his worst days, it's important to have someone taking responsibility but that's not happening, and Messi is leading the team in the Champions League and La Liga.
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