There are certain qualities that a player needs to possess for him to become a Galactico or more specifically a Real Madrid Galactico. And that goes beyond making backheel passes all the time.
Here are some of the reasons why Eden Hazard is not a Galactico.
Doesn’t have a unique footballing skill
Yes. He can dribble and run fairly fast. But guess what?
So can a dozen other players in world football.
The point we’re trying to make here is that Hazard is a world-class player, not a Galactico.
A Galactico player is someone who has something that no one has.
Ronaldo can score goals like no one else. Zidane had a touch like no one else. The old Ronaldo could create/score goals like no one else. Figo had dribbling skills like no one else.
While Hazard does a lot of things at a very high level, he doesn’t do anything that no other player in the world can do.
He is fast but not the fastest
A Galactico player has to be fast if he wants to play for Real Madrid in a position where Hazard wants to play.
Throughout the years, we have had the likes of Bale, Ronaldo, C.Ronaldo, Owen and many others who performed for Real Madrid through sheer pace.
Hazard, though fast, is not fast enough to just pick up the ball and run through defenses. He usually has to make use of dribbling skills along with positional sense to get past players.
Another surprising thing that we have noticed about his gameplay is that he is not as agile as a guy who is 5’9 (and an athlete) should be.
You have Messi who is close to that height and has an amazing ability to change direction and run with the ball.
Hazard is more close to Ronaldo in this sense but Ronaldo is built like a monster.
Doesn’t have the raw ability to dictate games
Ronaldo had his striking ability while C.Ronaldo basically did everything to cause a lot of damage to Real Madrid opponents.
Hazard is not at that level yet.
He is not even at Bale’s level when it comes to doing something amazing with the ball that forces his opponents to give him respect and allow him to dictate games.
That is why you see that even when playing for Chelsea he had to pass around the ball a bit too much in order to get things going.
Hazard is more of a world-class team player rather than a world-class individual football player. Bale, for all his injuries, can still pick up the ball and demand that the opposition allows him to play as he wants.
Hazard can’t do that.
In other words, he is not a Galactico.
Has limited options when it comes to doing work on the pitch
Again, Hazard is great. But he is not infallible.
Compared with players like Ronaldo and Zidane or even Bale, Hazard has to deal with a lot of constraints.
His main weapon is his quickness to run with the ball just enough to make space for another teammate who may be in a better position.
While that is great for a lot of other teams and for football in general, this type of play does not qualify you as a Galactico.
A Galactico has weaknesses just in the right spots so that opponents have to work extremely hard to expose them. A Galactico usually has 2 or 3 ways to play any given game.
A world-class player, on the other hand, is only competent in one key area such as shooting, running, dribbling, tackling and/or heading.
Is not a Galactico physically
Hazard can’t win headers. He can’t outmuscle people. He can’t hold up the ball for his teammates. That alone disqualifies him from being a Galactico.
Galactico players, no matter if they are short or tall, command respect on the pitch simply by being there.
They always compete for 50-50 balls and are never hindered by their physical weaknesses.
This is something that you will see in almost every team that Real Madrid has put out over the years.
Real Madrid Galactico players have never had to struggle on the pitch because of their fitness or strength.
Now, even though players like Roberto Carlos were shorter than Hazard, they still found a lot of success in making their presence felt on the pitch.
Does not handle pressure well
So far, Hazard has rarely given us a great performance in any football game while under pressure. Perhaps that is through no fault of his own. He has never played for a club that fights for the biggest things in football come the end of the season.
Maybe we are being harsh to Hazard. But that does not change the fact that a Galactico player can not only handle pressure but thrive under pressure.
Galactico players live for pressure games. In fact, Galactico players find it hard to get motivated when playing against tier 2 La Liga sides.
This is where we think Hazard is yet to become a Galactico for Real Madrid or any other football team really.
Doesn’t have the ability to score a ton of goals
Hazard, playing in an attacking position of his choice, only managed to score 21 goals last season. That tally of goals is great–if you are still playing football in the 1990s.
Today, strikers have to try and reach a goal scoring ratio of either 0.8 or 1. Players such as Messi and Ronaldo regularly go beyond that goal scoring ratio.
Hazard struggles just to get his goals-to-matches ratio to 0.5.
Again, that is not a bad return from a winger. But when we are talking about a player being a Galactico, that is not enough.
Simply put, the likes of Ronaldo and Messi do not require much assistance to score goals. They can create goals and score goals. Of course, Ronaldo has changed his style over the last few years and now requires a considerable amount of help to score goals compared to Messi.
But generally speaking, Ronaldo does not need his teammates to play well, to play well.
His game is built on his teammates making good runs, taking up good positions and scoring goals.
Requires certain conditions to perform well
Hazard wants to play on the wings. He wants to run with the ball on the left-hand side and cut inside in order to be effective.
While that is exactly what Ronaldo and Messi do as well, they don’t really need this condition to be successful as they have shown throughout their careers.
A Galactico does perform better when certain conditions on the pitch are met but he doesn’t need favorable conditions in each and every match.
If you look at Hazard’s matches, you’ll see that if Hazard is playing a team from the same league as his team, then he requires quite a number of things to become true in order to start making good contributions to the team.
He struggles against teams that play with a high tempo and do not give you space to work with the ball.
A Galactico can perform when there are open spaces as well as there are no spaces.
Let us know what you think. Is Hazard a Galactico or not?