A Magician, and a Pen

A Contribution Post via Helgi Llozana

28th May 2012. A moment when the football audience was getting ready for the Euros in Poland/Ukraine, a rather astonishing announcement for its timing, but also for being that unique, appeared on social media, TV, radios etc.:

‘’ I’m signing for the champion’s league winner.’’

Eden Hazard, the 22 year-old talent, wanted by many top clubs, put out the boiling hot fire of the speculations about his future. He would sign for Chelsea, he would sign for the Blues Of London and above all, he would sign for the just-crowned Champions Of Europe, turning down a possible to any of Manchester clubs, Real Madrid, Barcelona and other European giants with… a Twitter post. And, as they say, the rest was… history.

Before starting to go more in detail, Eden Hazard was officially announced as a Chelsea player on 4th June 2012, after the deal with the French club Lille, was agreed for around 32 million pound.

Of course, the expectations were high, the media pressure was there, maybe a bit exaggerated, but no one would care. Chelsea, the Champions of Europe, had signed one of the most promising talents of the generation. The guy was constantly described as a great dribbler, excellent in one-on-one situations and able to disturb the opponent’s defence in every possible moment.

Anyway, Eden started a bit slowly in pre-season. The environment looked a bit ‘’cold’’, his English wasn’t at the right level, and the Community Shield game against Manchester City made the fans fearful and suspicious. Rivals started to mock, without knowing that a glorified friendly can’t turn a beast, a lion, a gem into a rabbit.

And as you can imagine, this beast was unleashed. He got the his first Man of The Match award as early as the first game against Wigan Athletic away in which the Belgian made an assist for the first goal and won the penalty for the second.

His ability was being described as phenomenal, with labels like ‘’the little magician’’, ‘’the artist’’, ‘’HazART’’, ‘’genius’’, ‘’phenomenal’’ coming from everywhere.

His form was amazing even after the change of the managers, when Roberto Di Matteo, the club legend, was sacked and replaced with Rafa Benitez, an unwanted profile amongst the fans. Alongside Mata and Oscar, Eden could produce moments of magic with such ease.

At the end of the campaign, despite not being able to play in the Europa League final due to an injury, Eden helped the team reach this stage throughout the rounds and the best case is the stunner he scored against Sparta Prague in the dying minutes of the second leg, coming on from the bench, and producing a ‘’Calma’’ celebration, in a time when ‘’Calma’’ would be the last thing to be seen at Stamford Bridge, after that crazy sweet joy.

Of course, magic is a characteristic of a pure soul. It’s a particular product that despite being generally abstract, football has proven and still proves that it may be more than concrete, touchable and admirable in a lot of cases.

Certainly, Eden is a perfect illustrator of this. He is a human after all, has had his ups-and-downs, but most importantly he has managed to get back to his real shape and has also managed to produce big stuff when it really mattered, and not in an ordinary way, but in a MAGICAL way, in a way that could take the breath of every football fan, every admirer, not necessarily a Chelsea fan.

Let’s wind the clock back on 4th February 2017, when Chelsea would face Arsenal at Stamford Bridge. We all know what happened. Eden Hazard does what masters do, a practice for him, which for us is an artwork, a pure craziness, which flows from a powerful and extraordinary instinct. This instinct represents an always-correct decision of the moments, nothing is planned, nothing is thought before, it’s just the mad ability of the magician and our duty is just to enjoy the spiritual pleasure we get from such an amazement.

Certainly, I wrote all this meditation product because of Eden’s magnificent solo goal. It’s not that I haven’t seen amazing goals before, of course I have, but this goal, besides the aesthetic beauty, make Eden Hazard an ‘’all-inclusive’’ player regarding the game with his feet.

At that goal, everything is melted in the best way. Dribbling, intelligence, strength, hold-up, balance and most importantly, a top finish in a very important game and the gestures of touching the badge and the knee-slide, are the cherry on top the cake.

However, Hazard has always been a great personality and character off the pitch as well. His humorous features, the healthy breath he brings to the dressing room, the jokes he shares, but also his relationship with the fans are in general very beneficial to the club.

Eden has managed to push the team forward when his team-mates struggled to convert chances, when we would park the bus in 2014-15, when we would face the most physical teams in the world and when we would have a huge game to play, against a direct rival. No moaning, but committing. In sun and rain. In hot and cold. In every condition.

So, amid constant speculation over his future, the infinite reports linking him to potential moves to Madrid or even PSG, today he is a Chelsea player.

I am aware that this season the reports have intensified, but two weeks ago, during the Chelsea Awards Night, the suggestive reply “Where’s the pen?’’ In response to loud audience shouts ‘’Sign the contract, sign the contract’’, means a lot. It’s a pretty much a foggy situation; nothing is known with assurance, but…

…The pen is there. A pen, one of the most overused and ordinary things immediately becomes a future-deciding tool. Weird, but that’s the reality. And fortunately the pen is there. So, Eden you are there, too. Please don’t complicate things. Just…sign. Just…renew. Stay at the place where you are loved and adored, stay at The Garden Of Eden, stay at the Bridge, stay away from the mercenaries of Madrid. We have a lot of more history to write together. CHELSEA OVER REAL MADRID!

@HLlozana

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