Eden Hazard is just in the process of finding himself again. But the person who is wearing the number 7 shirt at Real Madrid is far (perhaps never) to reach the level and influence of the Bernabeu as Cristiano Ronaldo did.
In the summer of 2009, Real Madrid shocked the football world with the super “blockbuster” deal Cristiano Ronaldo. Just a year after owning the 2008 Golden Ball, President Florentino Perez did not hesitate to push captain Raul Gonzalez to Germany, and handed the No.7 shirt to Ronaldo.
And the fact that it was right with his owner, Cristiano Ronaldo made the No.7 shirt a new legend at the Bernabeu. Before Ronaldo, when it comes to number 7 at Real, people almost only talk about “Lord of the Ring” Raul, although before that they have many other famous players. But Ronaldo changed everything.
The number 7 shirt once associated Ronaldo with MU before he came to Real Madrid. After George Best is Eric Cantona, following British legend David Beckham, and after Beckham, no one made this shirt number more glorious than Cristiano Ronaldo. But during the past 11 years, no number 7 has brought the passion for “Red Devils” as CR7 has done.
At Real Madrid when Ronaldo arrived, the number 7 shirt really became more valuable than any other shirt in the past, with what has been associated with the Portuguese striker during the nine brilliant seasons. It is not only the responsibility, but also the “art of football” as Cristiano Ronaldo described the number 7 when he was playing football at Old Trafford.
Two years after Ronaldo left Real Madrid, this team became confused in finding someone to “fit” the number 7 shirt just like MU. Remember, after closing the sale of Ronaldo, President Florentino Perez confirmed that he would bring the Bernabeu to extraordinary players, and one of them was the one who received the shirt number from Ronaldo.
Two players who have been wearing the number 7 shirt at Real Madrid after Ronaldo, are Mariano Diaz and Eden Hazard. In the 2018/19 season, Mariano Diaz wore the number 7 shirt, but all that season the Brazilian striker scored 4 goals for Real with 3 in La Liga and 1 in the Champions League after 19 games. Meanwhile, in the 2017/18 season, Ronaldo, while still wearing the number 7 shirt at Real, scored 44 goals in 44 matches.
Unable to be more patient, President Perez decided to spend 150 million euros (total achievable value) to buy Eden Hazard from Chelsea even though the player has only 1 year contract. But after a season and a half, the number of goals for the number 7 in Real is … 3! Hazard has not and perhaps never reached Ronaldo’s level at Real. The Belgian star is simply finding his image as he did with Chelsea.
It is not easy to fit the number 7 shirt at Real, after all that Ronaldo has created in nearly a decade of dedication to the Royal Spanish team. Wearing the number 7 shirt at the Bernabeu at this time is probably more difficult than becoming a Real Madrid player.
Apparently the Portuguese striker is leaving a curse for this shirt number at the Bernabeu, as he has left at Old Trafford for the past 11 years.