Eden Hazard has insisted he is not yet a Galactico as he attempts to follow in the footsteps of Cristiano Ronaldo.
Hazard is in line to play his first Champions League game for Real at the Bernabeu Stadium against Group A rivals Club Brugge on Tuesday evening confident he can reach the heights he scaled during his seven-year stay at Chelsea once again.
Speaking at the LaLiga side’s pre-match press conference, he said: “I’m not yet a Galactico. I have to be the one to prove that I can become one.
“We know very well the last number seven at this club and I have to be the first to prove that I can be the best in the world, enjoy myself on the pitch, give everything in training and matches.
“I don’t doubt my abilities or my technique and the more I gain confidence, everything will be better.”
Hazard has made only four appearances for the club since his £89million summer arrival, one of them in a 3-0 defeat at Paris St Germain in the opening round of Champions League fixtures, with a thigh injury having delayed his start to the season.
However, coach Zinedine Zidane is confident he will rediscover his best form after initially struggling himself when he joined Juventus in 1996.
Zidane said: “He knows we want more from him, but we have to stay calm. I’m not worried at all. He will succeed here and will be very good.
“You have to be patient with players who have just arrived. The good thing is he will not change. He needs more, but we will see it soon. If we can see it tomorrow, great.
“The same thing happened to me, but I stayed calm. I knew that in time it would work.”
Real did not make it to the semi-finals for the first time since 2009-10 campaign last season, and have lost three of their last four games in the competition.
They currently top the LaLiga table after seven games, but asked which he would prefer to win, Hazard replied: “Both. When we start a competition, we want to win it: Champions League, league, cup… When you play for Real Madrid, all we want and have in our mind is to win.”
Brugge head into the game having taken a point from their opener at home to Galatasaray and unbeaten in 14 games in all competitions so far this season.
Striker Mbaye Diagne, who scored twice as a substitute in Saturday’s 5-0 league win at Mechelen, told the club’s official website: “That will be an awesome game. Everyone wants to prove himself against Real Madrid. It is a dream to score at the Bernabeu.
“We will play our match there and hope to achieve a good result. They lost at Paris Saint Germain, so everything is possible.”
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Diego Simeone and Zinedine Zidane shared their thoughts after Atletico and Real drew 0-0 in the Madrid derby in La Liga on Saturday.
The Wanda Metropolitano staged a tight game of few clear-cut chances, although Atletico keeper Jan Oblak made two fine saves and Gareth Bale missed a great opening for Real.
The result keeps Zidane’s men one point ahead of their city rivals – and promoted Granada – at the top of the table but Barcelona are now within striking distance after their 2-0 win at Getafe, their first away victory in any competition since April.
The Madrid derby on Saturday night ended in an anti-climatic goalless draw which saw Real Madrid keep top spot in La Liga.
The 0-0 result with Ateltico Madrid at the Wanda Metropolitano sees Real stay top by a point over promoted Granada.
Neither side were able to get the upper hand in a cagey encounter.
Toni Kroos was however a standout player in the game and here we take a closer look at his performance.
Passes (success-rate): 80 (93.8%)
Key passes: 3
Long passes: 13
Toni Kroos vs Atletico Madrid:— freeflow football (@freeflowblog) September 28, 2019
3 key passes
13/14 long balls completed
34/35 final 3rd passes completed
8 ball recoveries
2 shots on target
63% ground duels
4 fouls won
A complete performance at the Metropolitano! 🤩 pic.twitter.com/qRdt6TFmU5
Kroos started in midfield alongside Casemiro and Federico Valverde. The inclusion of the 21-year-old ahead of Luka Modric was perhaps a good move by Zinedine Zidane. A midfield that included both Kroos and Modric would likely be overrun by an energetic Atletico side.
Instead, the Germany international was the undisputed playmaker in the middle while Casemiro and Valverde were its more dogged occupants. That seemed to work well for Kroos who had one of his best games this season.
The 29-year-old even came close to scoring for Los Blancos. Twice towards the end of the first half he drew saves from Jan Oblak. First, a drilled effort with his left foot needed to be gathered at the second attempt by the Atleti custodian before a first-time curler needed to be pushed around the post.
GOT RIGHT – DICTATING PLAY
If there’s one thing you can say about Kroos with complete certainty it’s that he’s a phenomenal distributor of the ball. His range of passing is second to none and an unerring accuracy makes his operations in midfield seem almost mechanical.
The German bossed the middle of the park in possession, orchestrating Madrid’s build-up expertly. It comes as no surprise that he finished with a passing accuracy of 93.8 per cent or that he completed 13 of his 14 long passes.
He even mustered a couple of key passes having threatened the goal himself though he would’ve liked to have had more influence in the final third.
GOT WRONG – OFF THE BALL ACTION
For all his good work with the ball at his feet, Kroos is increasingly becoming a liability when Madrid don’t have possession. The midfielder has never been a ball-winner but his mobility seems to be in decline and that’s affecting his positioning.
Valverde offered more energy beside him in place of Modric but the youngster’s running around made Kroos look even more static. One tackle was the extent of his defensive contribution.
Kroos was one of the best players on the pitch but it’s frustrating that he wasn’t able to find a killer ball for one of his team-mates. That said, he did go close to scoring himself on a couple of occasions and no-one exercised more control in that midfield battle.