Eden Hazard wasn’t supposed to play again this season. His season was supposed to have ended following the shin fracture he suffered in January and if things had gone to plan, that would have been the case.
However, the Coronavirus had other ideas and has now presented the Belgian an opportunity to add some gloss to his first season as a Real Madrid player.
Hazard has had an underwhelming start to life in La Liga, scoring just once in 15 appearances having seen his time on the pitch limited by injuries and it was on that account that he was supposed to have been ruled for the rest of the season.
But he is back; back scoring and could now be Los Blancos’ talisman in La Liga’s run-in.
The former Chelsea star’s hat-trick lit-up Real Madrid’s training session on Thursday, showing so many of the traits that made Zinedine Zidane so keen to sign him last summer.
There were two goals scored right-footed coming in off the left wing, the second of which kissed the underside of the crossbar before it hit the back of the net.
And there was a right-foot finish, rolled in from close range after he had taken a pass from Karim Benzema with whom he was supposed to form a brilliant partnership with in his first season.
The goals were scored on one of the training pitches at Real Madrid’s out-of-town Valdebebas training complex, just a long-drop kick from the club’s B-team Alfredo di Stefano stadium where they will play their last six home games of the season.
A modest 6,000-capacity venue for what could turn out to be an extraordinary end to Hazard’s first year at Madrid if he leads the club to the title having over-turned Barcelona’s two-point lead.