Eden Hazard Wants to Become Real Madrid Galactico and 'Best Player in the World'

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistJune 13, 2019

Belgian footballer Eden Hazard waves during his official presentation as new player of the Real Madrid CF at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on June 13, 2019. (Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP)        (Photo credit should read GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images)

Eden Hazard has said he hopes to become a Real Madrid Galactico and "the best player in the world" after he was unveiled at the Santiago Bernabeu on Thursday.

The 28-year-old was presented to his new fans in Madrid after completing a transfer that could cost upwards of £150 million, per BBC Sport.

Hazard was humble in addressing the Bernabeu audience and said that while he isn't a Galactico yet, he hopes to earn that title, per Goal's Nizaar Kinsella:

Nizaar Kinsella @NizaarKinsella

Eden Hazard's press conference in Madrid comes across very assertively: "I'm not a "Galácitco", not yet, I hope to be one day. I'm Eden Hazard and everything I've done is in the past, here I start from scratch. I don't consider myself a "Galáctico", but a very good player" #RMCF

Galactico had come to take on a broader meaning in Madrid as just about any major-money signing, but Hazard's comment shows reverence for those club icons who first held the moniker, former greats like Ronaldo, now-manager Zinedine Zidane, David Beckham and Luis Figo.

The Belgium international has in the past spoken of his childhood dream to represent Real and was in high spirits at the Bernabeu: 

B/R Football @brfootball

Eden Hazard is unveiled as a Real Madrid player ⚪ https://t.co/AWSb9DVTNV

The initial cost of Hazard's transfer has been reported as €100 million (£89 million), per the Independent's Lawrence Ostlere. That outlay is enough to make him their new record signing ahead of Gareth Bale, who cost Los Blancos £86 million in 2013.

Mario Cortegana of AS wrote the 50,000-strong crowd that showed up to see the record arrival was the sixth-highest for a new Real signing:

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

50,000 Real Madrid fans PACKED the stadium just to see Eden Hazard put on the shirt for the first time 😳 (via @realmadriden) https://t.co/qr82owbM9E

Hazard scored 21 goals this season, his highest total for a season, as well as recording 17 assists in all competitions this season (15 of those came in the Premier League, more than any other player).

Chelsea opted to sell the player with one year left on his deal rather than risk losing him for free in 2020. The winger was recently named the Blues' Player of the Year for a fourth time and continues to display terrific form for his country, via Soccer AM:

Soccer AM @SoccerAM

Romelu Lukaku may have smashed home the header ☄️ But we're here for the Eden Hazard assist! Great initiative and skill 🤩 https://t.co/Q6sTC69bHK

Hazard's hope will be to keep the Ballon d'Or at the Bernabeu after new team-mate Luka Modric won the award for 2018, ending Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo's decade-long ownership of the trophy.

The Ballon d'Or is considered verification as the best individual player in the world, but the truth is team silverware and other accomlishments are effectively required to justify most votes.

Hazard's chances of attracting those trophies and the votes that often follow have increased with his transfer to Madrid, and fans may be pleased to hear their new man has such high personal aspirations.