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Blast From the Past

Ruud Van Nistelrooy: The Poaching Master

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Ruud Van Nistelrooy Scout Report

Our first official blast from the past. A Rather fitting one, seeing as RVN’s favourite thing to do was smash the ball from close range.

He was a true Old Trafford legend, although initially it wasn’t meant to be. He was supposed to sign for Man Utd in 2000, although a bad injury led to Manchester United pulling out of the race at that time. All interest in Ruud evaporated, after PSV refused to let any clubs perform any fitness tests. What were they hiding? With a fee of £20 million waiting, which was a gigantic fee back then, it wasn’t worth the risk.

12 months later, Man Utd snapped him up, but this time he was fit and ready to go. It proved to be a brilliant piece of work, with Ruud Van Nistelrooy highly regarded as one of the deadliest strikers that the English Leagues have seen.

He had a good time overall in Manchester, scoring 150 goals in 219 games. This level of clinical ability hasn’t been matched by many at all.

The Beginning of the End

It all turned sour for Ruud at Old Trafford, but he has said he regrets how things ended. He moved to Real Madrid in 2006 after a bust up with manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

Although he was the clubs top scorer & in fine form, his bust up led to him sitting on the bench for the League Cup Final, a game where your best players must start. He remained on the subs bench for the next 6 matches.

He returned to the team, but Sir Alex Ferguson informed him that he wouldn’t be involved in the final game of the season. He stormed out of Old Trafford before kick-off.

Sir Alex proceeded to stick the boot in on Ruud, which all but sealed his fate. Accusing him of undermining team morale.

New Life in Madrid

After just turning 30, Ruud Van Nistelrooy decided he wanted a new challenge. He wasn’t going to win Manchester United back, he sealed his fate.

One year previously, Real Madrid had tried to sign Ruud, but Ferguson convinced Ruud to stay. Ironically, Ruud didn’t believe in the abilities of his teammates, stating Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney were far too young.

He completely tore up La Liga between 2006 and 2010, although the latter part of his time with Real was spent on the sidelines. His knees weren’t his best friend & ultimately ended his career. He left Real Madrid scoring 46 times in 68 appearances.

After Real Madrid he visited Hamburg for one season, where he continued his goalscoring which made him famous. Real Madrid wanted him back for short term cover, but the bid was rejected.

He did return to Spain, playing for Malaga. He was 35 at this point, with a dodgy knee.

He’s one of the most clinical strikers I’ve ever seen play.

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Specials

Eden Hazard: Goodbye, after 7 Years

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It seems all but confirmed that Eden Hazard will shortly be unveiled as a Real Madrid player. After helping Chelsea to defeat Arsenal 4-1, claiming the trophy for winning the Europa League final he stated:

I think it’s goodbye.

He scored twice during Chelsea’s win, but he could have easily scored 4 or 5, if not for Petr Cech’s heroics in goal. Although Arsenal lost 4-1, Cech didn’t have a game as bad as it seems.

He added:

My Dream was to play in the Premier League, which I have done for 7 years. Maybe it is time, for a new challenge.

He told BT Sport that he had made a decision on his future 2 weeks ago, but now the matter is in the hands of both clubs. They need to agree terms before Eden Hazard can sign a contract.

It puts this transfer in a peculiar position. As the player has admitted he wants to leave, you would think that Real Madrid would be able to sign him on the ‘cheap’, however, Chelsea are no push-overs & with their transfer ban incoming, if they do not feel the fee is acceptable, they would be better off losing Hazard on a free, when his contract expires in 12 months.

Real Madrid know this, so it’s widely rumoured they will be paying Chelsea’s asking price, between £70-80m. They have a rebuilding job on their hands, with Zidane in control. The last thing Real Madrid need is a long, drawn out negotiation for Hazard, stopping them from signing other targets also.

At 28 years old, with only 12 months left on a deal, anything over £60m is probably a good deal.

Chelsea Career

Eden Hazard signed for Chelsea from LOSC Lille in 2012 for £31.5m. In his first season at Stamford Bridge, he helped Chelsea to win the Europa League. He followed this on in the second season, with his terrific form earning him the PFA Young Player of the Year award. Soon becoming a fan favourite, the huge transfer fee felt like a bargain.

The medals were adding up. In 2014, Chelsea won the League Cup & the Premier League, with Hazard this time won the Player of the Year award, alongside the Players player of the year. Aswell as the fans adoring him, his opponents knew he was simply magical. Chelsea won the league once more in 2016.

His opening season for Chelsea was great for a new signing, clocking up 62 appearances in all competitions. He scored 13 goals, assisting 24. In 2013, he scored 17 and assisted 10, in 49 appearances. This was followed by 19 goals and 13 assists in 2014, from 52 appearances.

A bad spell for Hazard came in 2015-16, when he managed just 6 goals and 8 assists, from 48 appearances. This is the year Chelsea seriously underperformed, with multiple issues at the club being published. The following year was better, but not yet the quality we have previously witnessed. Hazard hit 17 goals, followed by 7 assists in 43 appearances.

The 2017-18 campaign saw an improvement, with 17 goals and 13 assists in 50 appearances. It’s safe to say he saved the best until last, with 21 goals and 17 assists in 50 appearances.

It’s not absolute world class level goal scoring, but Eden Hazard is a winger, not a striker, so he’s not expected to get a goal per game.

His Chelsea career wasn’t perfect, with a few disciplinary issues along his career. The most notable offence was when Hazard took a few kicks at a ball boy, although it’s not quite as bad as it sounds. The ballboy admitted he was trying to waste time, replay footage shown Hazard was simply trying to release the ball from the boys grasp. However, it wasn’t a very mature thing to do, it led to a red card.

In February 2016, he tried to endorse a move to PSG, admitting it would be hard to turn them down, if they came calling.

You could also add this pending Real Madrid transfer to the list of his poor discipline. If Eden Hazard remained quiet about the saga, it could have ended up with Chelsea receiving a higher transfer fee. However, it just seems that he wants to quit now, on his terms.

There’s no doubting he is an elite talent. It’s very highly thought that Eden Hazard is a better overall player than Neymar, which is something that Hazard can confirm by restoring Real Madrid to their former glory.

Review 0
87.5 Reviewer
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Pros
Passing, Through Balls, Dribbling & Finishing
Cons
Low work rate when not in possession of the ball.
Summary
Eden Hazard has secured his dream move to Real Madrid.
Current Ability91.5
Goal Scoring Threat84
Passing Range82
Future Potential92.5
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