August 1, 2021

between shapes and injuries, Belgium without certainties

Eden Hazard’s season will she really start at the Euro? The Belgian player of Real Madrid approaches this meeting with more doubts than certainties about his physical condition before the first match of Belgium, Saturday, June 12, against Russia. Latest glitch: a “Thigh discomfort” which prevented the winger from playing the last game of the Spanish championship (La Liga) and weighed on his preparation with the Red Devils.

Read also Euro 2021: Belgium, all about the team

In the two friendly matches played by the Belgians (against Greece and Croatia), Hazard only played ten minutes. At a press conference on May 31, 2021, the player admitted that he had not yet been ” 100 % ” : “I’m going to be good again when I go after that, when I get my confidence back, and when my thigh and ankle don’t hurt at all.” “

If he hopes to ramp up against Russia, Hazard may not be able to play the whole game. “Will Eden be able to play 90 minutes against Russia?” That is another question ”, warned the Spanish coach of Belgium, Roberto Martinez, while specifying that if “Some players need to be 100% ready for such a competition, a player like Eden can also count on his talent”.

About ten injuries in two years

However Eden Hazard’s talent has often been held back over the past two years by the accumulation of physical problems. Crack in the right fibula, tear in the thigh, microcrack in the right foot, muscle injury in the right psoas (muscle which extends on each side of the lumbar vertebrae)… The player has experienced about ten injuries since signing in the Spanish capital in the summer of 2019 for 115 million euros – not to mention the Covid-19 in November 2020 – spending as much time in the infirmary as in the field.

In the first season, he only played 16 games in La Liga and 6 in the Champions League. This year, the numbers are even lower: 14 games in La Liga and 5 in the European Cup. His entry into play on June 6 against Croatia was a mini-event: he had not appeared in the Belgian jersey since November 2019. An eternity for the second best player of the 2018 World Cup and captain of the Red Devils during the Russian countryside.

Until his signing in Madrid, however, the winger was not known to be fragile. But from his first steps in the Spanish capital, Hazard has been the target of criticism, his lifestyle being questioned in particular by the media and observers. Since then, doubts have intensified and his stay in Madrid is seen as a « crash industriel », according to the expression of Alexandre Teklak, former Belgian footballer.

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