Martinez wonders if Hazard ‘can still play 90 minutes’ ahead of World Cup


In an interview with RTBF, Roberto Martinez gave an update on Eden Hazard’s situation in the Belgian team. A month and a half before the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, the captain of the Red Devils lacks rhythm and playing time with Real Madrid. Something to worry his coach.

Roberto Martinez, Belgium coach, said in an interview with RTBF on Monday « that we must now ask ourselves if Eden Hazard can still play 90 minutes, or seven matches in a very short period of time », at a month and a half from the start of the 2022 World Cup. Lacking playing time at Real Madrid (he has only been used three times since the start of the season in La Liga), the captain of the Red Devils (122 selections, 33 goals) is the subject of much debate in Belgium, before the World Cup in Qatar (from November 20 to December 18).

With Belgium, Hazard was lined up for about 60 minutes twice last week in the League of Nations, appearing lacking in rhythm against Wales (2-1) and the Netherlands (0-1).

Martinez hopes and notes, however, that « his situation can change enormously over the next five weeks ». « Eden hasn’t played a string of matches for a very long time, and that has consequences. We’ll take stock of his situation as the World Cup approaches. We’ll see what role we can give him. But I don’t see it. not like a joker. (…) He is a player who must take the rhythm of the game in hand, from the start of the game. »

« One of the best in the world »

The Spanish coach further assures that Hazard « is still a very important player for the national team, that’s for sure 100%. His experience, his influence on opponents, his ability to eliminate a man, to create the danger… In this profile, in my opinion, he is one of the best in the world. Still today. »

Martinez also returned to a controversy born after Hazard was seen in a nightclub in Brussels, two days before the match in the Netherlands on September 25. « He had permission to spend time with family or friends. There is a very clear story behind it, but I’m not going to talk about it in public, it will be handled internally. I wouldn’t like it repeats itself, but there’s a story behind it. » Belgium will play the 2022 World Cup in Group F, where they will face Canada (November 23), Morocco (November 27) and Croatia (December 1).

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