Today we know who plays champions in Spain: Real or Atletico, Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois or Yannick Carrasco. The contrast between Hazard and Courtois at Real Madrid couldn’t be greater this season. While one is struggling with injuries, the other is one of the absolute strongholds. “Thomas Meunier has caused a lot of misery to Hazard,” says football journalist Frédéric Hermel.
Eden Hazard is in his second season with Real Madrid, Courtois is already on his third with the Royal. Football journalist at RMC Sport Fred Hermel, who lives in Madrid, has been following Spanish football for years. He sheds light on the performance of both Belgians at Real Madrid.
Partly due to injuries, Hazard could not yet fulfill the high expectations at Real. Still, Hermel remains behind the attacker. “He is a great player and also very likeable. I hope he stays and can still win prizes with Real, because he suits the club.”
Hermel sees only one reason for Hazard’s bad season at Real: his injuries. “Thomas Meunier has caused Hazard a lot of misery. That injury is the basis of all the problems. Meunier certainly did not want to injure him, but unfortunately it did happen.”
“Unfortunately, Hazard is no longer worth his price today. Who would want to pay him 100 million more today if there are any doubts about his physical readiness?”
The audience in Barnabeu hisses everyone off. Now that pressure from the public was not there.
The transfer of Hazard can be seen as the transfer of trainer Zinedine Zidane and president Florentino Perez. “Zidane is still convinced that Hazard can bring added value to the team. He has full confidence in the Belgian.”
The pressure on Hazard is particularly high in Spain. Certainly the Spanish press has not always been tender to the attacker. But according to Hermel, Hazard himself doesn’t care too much about that.
It would have been much more difficult if there had been an audience in the stadium. “The audience in Bernabeu hisses everyone off, even Zidane at the beginning of his career. Now that pressure from the public was not there.”
“Courtois is the best goalkeeper in the world”
One of the strongholds at Real this season was undoubtedly Thibaut Courtois. “The fact that we no longer talk about Courtois is the best news for a goalkeeper.” According to Hermel, the Royal has swallowed many goals on still phases in the past. “Thanks to Courtois, there were only two this season.”
But also off the field, Courtois is one of the leaders within the team. “Courtois speaks very good Spanish and is not afraid to express himself. Especially when things go bad, it is often Courtois who will respond and take his responsibility. He radiates a certain presence at Real.”
Hermel has nothing but praise for Courtois. “He is extraordinary. He is certainly the best goalkeeper in the world at the moment. A goalkeeper must inspire confidence. The confidence that Courtois is currently generating within Real is enormous.”