Hazard can win the Ballon d'Or - Martinez tells Madrid how to get Eden firing

Robin Bairner
How many Real Madrid games has Eden Hazard missed through injury?

Real Madrid’s Eden Hazard is still a player capable of winning the Ballon d’Or, the La Liga giants have been told by Belgium boss Roberto Martinez.

Martinez, who has recently been linked with the Barcelona head coach post, has said, however, that Carlo Ancelotti has to use him far more regularly.

Hazard has played eight times for Real Madrid so far this season but has often been a substitute and has totalled 382 minutes of football. He has yet to play a full 90 minutes.

Indeed, the Belgium star has struggled to express his full potential since a €100 million move from Chelsea in 2019 due to a succession of injuries that have limited him to 51 outings and have disrupted his form.

Despite these problems, Martinez says that in the right conditions, Hazard can be a star.

He needs to play more games to reach his physical peak
- Roberto Martinez

Asked by Cadena SER if Hazard is still capable of winning the Ballon d’Or, Martinez said: “Without a doubt. The first half of the Nations League match against France gives me even more belief.

“It’s true that Eden’s physical situation is not optimal. His time in Spain has been very atypical. It worries it all.

“He needs to play more games to reach his physical peak. From what I’ve seen, he’s medically perfect.

“If he plays at the level he did for 45 minutes against France, he’ll give us many more wins.”

Martinez on Barcelona job

Belgium boss Roberto Martinez linked with Barcelona job

Martinez also commented on speculation linking him to Barcelona, where Ronald Koeman is under pressure after a poor start to the season.

“The truth is that they have not contacted me,” he said. “You know how rumours with coaches work. There’s nothing more than an anecdote that helps me start the day with a smile.”

Martinez has been in charge of Belgium since 2016, notably leading them to third at the 2018 World Cup.