International football

Hazard: Belgium boss Martínez laments absence of star forward

Hampered by injuries and fitness issues in the Spanish capital, Roberto Martínez bemoaned Eden Hazard's latest setback after a covid-19 positive.

Hazard's positive COVID-19 test disappointing, says Belgium boss Martinez

Roberto Martínez labelled Eden Hazard's positive coronavirus test "disappointing" as the Belgium head coach lamented the Real Madrid star's absence.

Hazard will miss Belgium's international friendly against Switzerland on Wednesday and the Nations League showdown with England four days later after contracting covid-19.

The 29-year-old attacker tested positive prior to Madrid's 4-1 LaLiga humbling at the hands of Valencia on Sunday.

Hazard has featured just 25 times in all competitions for Madrid since arriving from Chelsea for €100million in June last year, scoring two goals and supplying four assists. In his final campaign at Stamford Bridge, he registered 16 goals and 15 assists in the Premier League alone.

Hampered by injuries and fitness issues in the Spanish capital, Belgium boss Martínez bemoaned Hazard's latest setback.

Martínez: "We were all looking forward to seeing Eden play"


Aaaah. Traditions...

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"Obviously we were all delighted to see Eden [Hazard] play in the last three games with his club and starting to look happy and free, being able to score," Martínez told reporters.

"I think we were all looking forward to seeing Eden play for the national team. I think that was good news for the club as well because to be able to play minutes and get games will help his match fitness.

"The positive test is a disappointing news but it's not abnormal in the current world we live in. I think being positive for coronavirus is not news anymore. 

"At the moment, we are just following the protocols of UEFA and making sure that Eden carries on working at home so he doesn't lose any fitness and see how quickly he can join the national team, if it can happen.

"But no, nothing mysterious about his positive [result], nothing at all. He's asymptomatic and he feels in good spirits and that's the only thing that matters."