He wanted to finally make the breakthrough at Real, but it remains elusive for Eden Hazard. Coach Carlo Ancelotti is planning without him.
On matchday 5, the opportunity finally arose. Karim Benzema was absent due to injury against Mallorca, and Eden Hazard played in his place. But unfortunately as so often for the royals. Inconspicuous, unhappy, almost invisible.
Somehow typical that after his substitution at the score of 1:1 everything suddenly went smoothly. Hazard’s rivals – if you can still call them that – Vinicius and Rodrygo scored one after the other, and in the end it was even 4:1 for Real thanks to Antonio Rüdiger. The following week, in the derby with Atletico (2-1), Rodrygo was given preference in the forward line and scored after just 18 minutes. Hazard was not even substituted – not even in the recent 1-1 against Osasuna (Real goal scorer Vinicius). In the final phase, Ancelotti preferred to substitute Mariano. It wasn’t Hazard’s game, the Italian said afterwards.
No talk with Ancelotti
It almost never is at Real. “Of course every player knows his situation,” Ancelotti said ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League clash against Shakhtar Donetsk. The one-time 115-million buy (contract until 2024) is demanding more playing time, but apparently not from his coach personally. “When a player asks me for an explanation, I give it to him, but Eden has not spoken to me. He knows the situation and knows that the competition is very tough, as it is for other players. “
158 minutes of action are on paper for Hazard at Real. This also has consequences for the Belgian national team and the World Cup. The 31-year-old was substituted after just over an hour in both the 2-1 defeat to Wales and the 0-1 loss in the Netherlands. “We have to ask ourselves if he can last 90 minutes and if seven games in a short time is a good idea,” Belgium coach Roberto Martinez was already looking towards Qatar. “Everyone knows that Eden has played few or no games for a long time and that has consequences.” Shortly before the World Cup, Martinez will “take stock, then we will see what role he can play”.
That Martinez does not see Hazard as a false nine or a number ten, he also clarified. “Eden is a player who has to play on the left and come into the game. That’s the best Eden Hazard.” A position that Hazard can do without at Real, however, as long as top dog Vinicius remains fit.