Serious questions are being asked about the effectiveness of Real Madrid’s medical team after Eden Hazard sustained his eleventh injury in less than two seasons at the Spanish giants last weekend.
Hazard was pulled out of the Premier League after seven largely successful seasons with Chelsea ahead of the start of last season to become Real Madrid’s youngest “Galactico”. What was initially a dream move for the Belgian maestro has turned into a nightmare afterwards. Repeated injury misery has limited his appearances to only 36 during his stay at the Bernabeu so far.
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The Belgian, Real Madrid’s most expensive new signing of all time, appeared on Saturday for the first time since January in a 2-1 win over Elche from the bench, but when it looked like Hazard had disappeared from the treatment table, head coach Zinedine Zidane was confirmed in a press conference on Monday that Hazard suffered another setback, this time a “right pelvic muscle injury”.
The press case revealed that Zidane was just as confused as anyone about Hazard’s injury problems. He stated that there are “things I can’t explain” about the player’s persistent fitness problems – even suggesting that Hazard’s mindset could be a factor, saying that his problems with “things im up here Head could be connected that influence a lot “.
Real Madrid ruined Eden Hazard. The man played in the most physical league for 7 years and was fouled more than anyone but was rarely injured. Now he cannot stay fit for 5 minutes. Eden deserves better.
– Conn (@ConnCFC) March 15, 2021
Madrid don’t know that Hazard never trained at Chelsea. He did everything he wanted in training and then body defenders over the weekend. GET IT BACK pic.twitter.com/sAgM6DDw9E
– NotSouthgate (@CFCMoneyMase_) March 15, 2021
Hazard has been limited to just 14 first team appearances this season, for a total of 36, since his € 100m move from Stamford Bridge. The contrast between his time at Chelsea and Madrid is stark; In seven seasons in West London, he was rarely injured. In Madrid, the opposite is the case.
“As always, I try to be positive and hope it will be a minor matter,” said Zidane. “Something is happening. He’s a player who’s never been injured in his career. We want to help him.”
However, a distinctly angry Zidane grew tired when attention was drawn to Real Madrid’s medicinal steam which, for one reason or another, was unable to maintain the player in full health for an extended period of time.
“I don’t think there is a problem. We have very competent people here who are close to the players every day,” Zidane replied.
“We’re trying to find out what happens to the injured players. There are things that happen in football. We talked about the preseason, about the number of games.”
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Whatever the reason for his fitness problems, it is difficult to describe Hazard’s Real Madrid stint as anything other than a disaster up to this point. After joining Chelsea, where he was four-time Player of the Year, he was drawn into the team with a flawless reputation.
Towards the end of his career at Chelsea, he was so impressive that many observers predicted he would be ready to take on the mantle of the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi – but this is a prophecy that remains unfulfilled as the Belgian superstar’s injury seems to go on suffering.