- Hazard has never got going in Madrid
- But saw opportunity after World Cup
- Ancelotti’s decision to drop him “lowered his head”
WHAT HAPPENED? Hazard’s career since arriving in the Spanish capital from Chelsea back in 2019 has never really got going, largely going due to continuous injury setbacks and issues over his motivation. But having captained Belgium in all but one of their three group games in Qatar and with wingers Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo getting back to full fitness, Courtois revealed that the 32-year-old winger expected some game time – which wasn’t forthcoming.
WHAT THEY SAID: “When Hazard returned from the World Cup, he trained very well and was waiting for an opportunity because the Brazilians were not there,” Courtois said after Wednesday’s win over Liverpool (via Marca). “The opportunity did not come and he lowered his head a bit. He has never disrespected anyone.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Courtois’ words would back up claims made my Hazard in recent weeks. Despite Ancelotti claiming otherwise, the forward opened up on the broken relationship between himself and his manager. Despite these issues and having started just two games for Madrid in all competitions all season, the former Chelsea man rubbished rumours of him moving on, claiming he would see out his contract before its expiration in 2024.
IN THREE PHOTOS:
Getty ImagesGettyGetty Images
WHAT NEXT FOR HAZARD? While it seems unlikely he will be offered a starting berth, Hazard will be in attendance in some capacity for Madrid’s crunch La Liga matchup against Barcelona on Sunday. Defeat in that game would see the Blaugrana pull a staggering 12 points clear at the top.