Eden Hazard has endured a tough time since joining Real Madrid – and it appears that his confidence is at an all-time low.
The former Belgium international has battled with injuries since signing from Chelsea in 2019, which has significantly impacted his game time in the Spanish capital.
This season he has been reduced to a fringe player, with manager Carlo Ancelotti naming him on the bench for Real’s Champions League clash against Liverpool on Wednesday and electing not to bring him on.
That has largely been the story for Hazard’s season, and Thibaut Courtois said that his Belgium compatriot has really been struggling ever since the Qatar World Cup.
Eden Hazard and Carlo Ancelotti don’t talk
Courtois’ comments follow those made by Hazard earlier this week, where the winger said that he and manager Ancelotti barely talk.
Despite signing for a fee that could have exceeded £130 million over time, injury issues have meant that Hazard has only made 73 appearances over four seasons.
His playing time this season has seen a dramatic reduction, playing just seven times for Los Blancos and registering just 298 minutes.
And Hazard’s comments earlier this week did not seem to suggest that that would improve for what remains of the season, with him telling Belgian broadcaster RTBF that he and Ancelotti barely talk.
“There is respect between us. But I’m not going to say that we talk to each other, because we don’t,” the Madrid man said, via ESPN.
“But there will always be respect. Even if tomorrow he doesn’t pick me anymore.
“I must have respect for a guy like Carlo Ancelotti. In terms of what he represents for football, what he has done in his career. There is no problem.”
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Courtois: Hazard’s head dipped following the World Cup
And now his former Belgium teammate and friend Thibaut Courtois has revealed that Hazard’s motivation dropped following the World Cup.
The former Chelsea star returned to Spain expecting to feature more in the second half of the season, something which has not come to fruition.
Hazard’s last appearance was in the Copa del Rey against CP Cacereño, and he has not featured for Real since.
And speaking after the Spanish giants eliminated Liverpool on Wednesday night in the Champions League, Courtois said that the lack of opportunities had left Hazard disappointed.
“When Hazard returned from the World Cup, he trained very well and was waiting for an opportunity because the Brazilians were not there,” Courtois said according to Spanish outlet Marca.
“The opportunity did not come and he lowered his head a bit. He has never disrespected anyone.”
Hazard will hope to get more minutes for what remains of this season, but given his playing time so far, it seems unlikely that he will play a part on Sunday when Real Madrid travel to Barcelona for El Clasico.
The Catalan club are currently nine points clear of Ancelotti’s side, who will be hoping to close the gap this weekend.