Hazard Wilshere Reus GFXGetty/GOAL

Eden Hazard and the football superstars whose careers were ruined by injury

Eden Hazard to Real Madrid was a transfer a decade in the making, with long-time admirer Zinedine Zidane finally convincing Florentino Perez to sign the Belgium forward in 2018. Unfortunately, Hazard did not prove worth the wait. He turned up for pre-season overweight, and things quickly went downhill from there.

A player who had rarely been injured at Chelsea was suddenly plagued by problems, and Hazard admitted in 2021 that it was unlikely that he would ever again be the wing-wizard that had torn up the Premier League, after fracturing his ankle on three separate occasions. And so it proved, with the 32-year-old confirming his early retirement just two years later in October 2023.

Hazard managed just 54 league games and four goals in four years at the Bernabeu, with his torrid spell in Spain perhaps best summed up by the fact that he never made a single appearance in a Clasico. The worst thing is that there was never much sympathy for Madrid's €120m man, even among his team-mates.

While confirming that his contract had been terminated by mutual consent a year ahead of schedule, Los Blancos pointed out that Hazard had won eight titles with the club. But, truth be told, he played next-to-no role in any of them. Hazard could have gone down as one of the greatest signings in Real's history, he'll instead be remembered as one of their worst.

Of course, he's hardly the first top-class talent to be prevented from realising his full potential by fitness problems, as GOAL outlines below...

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