Real Madrid have been running smoothly this season, at least in terms of results and performances. In the absence of any major attacking signings in the summer, the likes of Fede Valverde, Rodrygo Goes and Vinicius Junior have continued their development.
One of their attackers has not managed to follow that improvement. During preseason, Carlo Ancelotti had made a point of backing Eden Hazard as Karim Benzema’s alternative should the Frenchman be absent.
However only twice when Benzema’s fitness has failed him has Hazard been trusted through the middle, as a substitute against Celtic and against Real Mallorca in mid-September. His only other start was on the left side of attack against Shakhtar Donetsk.
Speaking in FIFA interview ahead of the World Cup, carried by Mundo Deportivo, Hazard was keen to stress that he was feeling good about himself now and believes that he just needs a chance to show it.
“It’s complicated. There were a lot of things [having an impact], quite a few injuries, doubts and everything that goes with that. But now everything is back to normal. I only hope for one thing, to be able to show on the pitch that I’m still at the top, there’s not much more to say about it.”
It may be that Celtic once again are his chance to show his worth, against who he scored and assisted in their first match. Real Madrid face Celtic on Wednesday evening at the Santiago Bernabeu and need a victory to guarantee first place in their Champions League group.
He also assessed Belgium’s chances at the World Cup – Hazard is Roberto Martinez’s captain.
“I think I have to set the bar high. I will try to do better than four years ago. It will be difficult, because that was already quite good. But collectively, I’m lucky to be the captain of a great team, a great country, so we have an obligation to think big.”
Hazard finds himself in a tricky place. In order to gain more opportunities, he must perform well. However it has been so long since he played regular football, the Belgian probably need regular football to find his rhythm again. The chances of him getting that rhythm at Real Madrid seem unlikely at this point.
Source by Football Espana