REAL MADRID

Belgium blame Zidane for Hazard's latest injury

The Real Madrid forward limped out of the Alavés game and back in his homeland there have been questions raised about Zidane's management of his injury problems.

0

When Eden Hazard realised his dream move to Madrid, nobody expected his first year at the club to be dogged by so many setbacks. Fitness problems have stopped him from building up ay kind of continuity, and every time he seems to be getting into some kind of rhythm, he suffers a new injury. The latest injury came during the weekend meeting with Alavés when, with just half a hour gone, he was trudging back to the dressing room with a damaged right thigh muscle. Tests confirmed that he is certain to miss the Madrid derby against Atleti on 12 December and probably all of the remaining games in 2020. Over in Belgium, they believe one man is to blame - Zinedine Zidane.

"I think he went over the limit; he overstretched himself and taken his body too far," Belgium national team doctor Kris Van Crombrugge told local daily HLN. In the same article, they suggest that Hazard was rushed back too early from the muscular injury he suffered in October. The forward returned to the starting line-up against Huesca, playing a total of 60 minutes after having been back to full training for just two sessions, which they felt was over-optimistic.

Following the Huesca game, Eden tested positive for coronavirus, once again spoiling any chance of stringing a run of games with the team together. When he was available again, he went straight back into Zidane's starting XI for the game against Villarreal at La Cerámica, then again at San Siro four days later when he shone and scored against Inter Milan to break his goal scoring drought in the Champions League. After that was the Alavés match when his thigh muscle ruptured. Three starts in seven days which Belgium's medical staff feel were excessive - bearing in mind Hazard's injury history since he joined Madrid together with the current circumstances in which there is less recovery time for all players between games.

The Belgian Football Association's mistrust is nothinnew - HLN also revealed that the RBFA even had their suspicions about Hazard's positive Covid-19 test result. However, coach Roberto Martínez later told AS that there is no such feeling of mistrust within the team: "I don't think there is anything out of the ordinary with his positive test at all. He's asymptomatic and he's fine, that's all that matters".

Hazard, relaxed

As for the player, he's relaxed and taking it all in his stride. Diario AS understands that Hazard doesn't blame Zidane or the club for his relapses. The amount of playing time is agreed by both  parties, as he and the coach enjoy a excellent relationship and communication between the two is constant. He has never felt pressurised to play, neither when he had injuries last season or during the current campaign. Zidane is one of his greatest advocates and the one who recommended signing him when he was still relatively unknown at Lille, before he was snapped up by Chelsea.

The Madrid coach expressed surprise when it was suggested that perhaps stress could be behind the Belgian's injury problems. "Hazard's injuries down to stress?" he replied: "No! He is very strong".