Eden Hazard is in line to face Chelsea for the first time in his career.
The former Chelsea winger has endured a torrid time since his transfer to Real Madrid for more than £100million in 2019, missing well over 50 games through injury.
Hazard’s latest injury has kept him out for six games so far, including both of Real Madrid’s quarter-final fixtures against Liverpool as Los Blancos progressed with a 3-1 aggregate win.
The win means Real Madrid will face Chelsea in the Champions League semi-final, setting up a first return for Hazard since his move to the Spanish capital.
— Absolute Chelsea (@AbsoluteChelsea) April 14, 2021
The two sides meet for the first time since 1998 after Chelsea progressed past Porto in the last round with a 2-1 aggregate win. Real knocked Liverpool out to put them two games away from the final in Istanbul next month.
Eden Hazard won almost everything with Chelsea and was widely considered one of the best players in the world during his time with the Blues. He had a great relationship with the fans, his teammates and staff alike.
It is a great shame then that the fans that adored Hazard for so long will be unable to see his return. Some good news, however, is that UEFA have confirmed that both legs will not have to be played at a neutral venue.
saw Hazard in training and has always been fit. Zidane didn’t want to risk him. so he’ll definitely face Chelsea and together with Thibaut. this will be war lol
— 𝕊𝕥𝕚𝕗𝕝𝕖𝕣 (@Samzen_) April 15, 2021
Hazard will, reportedly, be fit and will return to the side in time to face Chelsea and his wishes of wanting to face Chelsea have materialised after he penned an emotional message following his Blues departure.
Hazard said back in 2019: “Chelsea and especially Chelsea fans will always be special to me and next I will look for your results first. I hope that we are drawn against each other in the Champions League next season and every season so we can meet again.”
Courtois is disappointed he won’t see any Chelsea fans at Stamford Bridge. pic.twitter.com/Aa8hJFpg4G
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) April 14, 2021
His teammate, and former Blue, Thibaut Courtois is also relishing returning to Stamford Bridge.
“It will be very nice to see a lot of familiar faces and I wish there was public at Stamford Bridge because there was a lot of happy moments I had there,” said Courtois.
“I’m really happy to play them, but only one can be in the final and I hope it’s Real Madrid.”
Chelsea have been excellent since Thomas Tuchel has taken over. Tuchel has Chelsea playing a pragmatic style of play, well suited to the demands of the Champions League. The Blues will go into the tie believing they have a great chance to reach their first final since 2012.
On the other hand, Real Madrid will also be filled with confidence. Not many gave them a chance to beat Liverpool, especially with their long list of injures. It promises to be a great tie.