'Hazard is not fit to play two games in a row'

Tom Grant 17 Nov 2021 11:27 CET 3 min read
Real Madrid's Eden Hazard limped out of Spain's Euro 2020 match with Portugal

Real Madrid's Belgium star Eden Hazard is struggling for fitness according to an international team-mate.

Hazard was sent home from the international setup after Belgium secured qualification to Qatar 2022 with a 3-1 win over Estonia.

And although he started that game, he was hauled off after 62 minutes, replaced by his younger brother Thorgan.

Eden then returned to Madrid instead of travelling for the sides 1-1 draw with Wales.

What did Roberto Martinez say?

Before the match in Cardiff, boss Roberto Martinez explained Hazard went back to Spain so he could focus on his Los Blancos duties.

“The plan was that if we qualified for the World Cup, Hazard would play only one game and we played him for 60 minutes against Estonia,” said Martinez in a press conference.

Now he can concentrate on Real Madrid given the schedule of games that his club has coming up
- Roberto Martinez

“Now he can concentrate on Real Madrid given the schedule of games that his club has coming up.”

Martinez added: “For him, it’s important to play with Real Madrid to recover the rhythm of games, so playing a game with us was ideal for Hazard to recover part of this rhythm.”

What did Axel Witsal say?

But that assessment has been contradicted somewhat by Borussia Dortmund midfielder Axel Witsal.

Hazard was not fit enough to play two games. That's what Roberto Martinez has told us
- Axel Witsal

Marca report Witsal revealing Martinez doesn't believe Hazard is fit enough to play more than once in the space of a few days.

"Hazard was not fit enough to play two games. That's what Roberto Martinez has told us," Witsel said.

Hazard struggles

What the hell has happened to €146m flop Hazard?

Hazard has struggled for form and fitness since his big-money move from Chelsea to Real Madrid in 2019.

He has only played 54 times for Madrid and scored just five times during two and a half seasons in Spain.

He has featured 11 times this term and failed to find the net on any of those appearances.

That has sparked rumours of a move away from Madrid with former club Chelsea reportedly interested in a return for their former hero as well as Newcastle considering him as key to their rebuild following their takeover.