I knew. We all knew. And we made peace with that a long time ago. Even then, when I saw Real Madrid’s ‘Comunicado Oficial’ on Twitter, it just broke my heart. The pain was real and it literally gave me panic attack. I felt like I was suffocating to death and had to get out of my office for some fresh air. I’ve been through multiple heartbreaks in my adult life and honestly, this beats them all.
Growing up in India, a country which is incessantly in love with the game of Cricket, it took some special players to turn my focus towards Football. Zidane, Ronaldinho, Brazilian Ronaldo to name a few. When I started watching English Premier League, I had no idea whom to support. While I’d watch all big teams play, all my friends were ardent fans of Manchester United and Arsenal. One thing they all had in common was they hated Chelsea. That made things easier for me. Following the crowd has never been my favorite idea and thus, I started supporting the Roman-owned-Mourinho-coached-shithouse Chelsea. And boy, did I have the time of my life.
While as a team, Chelsea were rampant and ruthless, something was always missing for me. No, not trophies (We’re not Arsenal, lol).
Watching the likes of Zidane and Ronaldinho, I always wished and dreamed that Chelsea would sign a player with that kind of flair and level of skill. Fast forward to 2012, Chelsea had signed Eden Michael Hazard from Lille.
Of course, I didn’t have much idea about him at first apart from reading a few articles that labeled him as the ‘next big thing in football’. Watching his games for Lille, I realized we had something special in our hands. A generational talent. Ever since, it has been nothing but a pleasure watching him on and off the field.
Everything I went through during the last few years, Chelsea and Hazard were always there for me at the end of the day. When I left my friends and family for higher studies and moved to another country, I was emotionally lost. The only thing that comforted me the most and allowed me to forget things was: Chelsea. And Hazard was the focal point of it.
Every time the little magician dribbled past the premier league defenders and scored a phenomenal goal or made a killer pass, I realized how lucky I was to watch him do that shit week in, week out. Sitting there and watching him in awe had become a favorite pastime of mine for the last 7 years.
Be it the title-killing goal against Tottenham or the incredible solo effort against Arsenal or even the wonder goal against Liverpool this past season, Eden Hazard had always been in a league of his own in the league that he owned.
On the field, he was a poetry in motion and was irresistible to watch. When he wasn’t scoring goals, he broke ankles, (remember Zabaleta?)
and sent people for hotdogs (Coquelin, anyone?).
In my opinion, we should name a stand after him and call it ‘Eden Garden’. After all, Chelsea have never lost a premier league game at the Bridge when he scored.
While Hazard is off to Real Madrid to pursue his dream, my dream of seeing him play live at the Bridge will always be a dream now. In French, they say ‘Au revoir’ which means ‘goodbye until we meet again’. I don’t want this to be the end between Hazard and Chelsea. Therefore,
Au revoir, Eden.