Eden Hazard (Belgium): “I’m a bit at an impasse”

Home » Eden Hazard (Belgium): “I’m a bit at an impasse”
Eden Hazard (Belgium): “I’m a bit at an impasse”

The Red Devils started their World Cup this Monday evening at the national training center, about twenty kilometers south of Brussels. Eden Hazard and former Reims defender Wout Faes are the first Belgian internationals to speak to the written and broadcast press. This Tuesday, the team flies to Kuwait. Roberto Martinez’s players will play a friendly match against Egypt this Friday (6 p.m. local, 4 p.m. in Western Europe). Their entry into competition is scheduled for November 23 in Qatar against Canada. In this context, the captain, 31 years old, 122 caps, 33 goals, spoke at length about his situation at the club where his horizon seems blocked by the excellent results of Real Madrid.

“How do you live your situation at Real Madrid?
I would be lying if I said that I saw it well. I am not playing. I train. I hardly missed any sessions. I have no criticism to make to the coach (Carlo Ancelotti). He gave his explanations at a press conference. It is difficult for him to always answer the same questions. We talked at the start of the season. He asked me to do the maximum. I try. The team has good results and when I played, they didn’t necessarily have many. I’m at a bit of a dead end. I want to play more. I accept this situation. I try to show every day in training that I can give more, that I still have good things to do. I try to keep smiling. Sometimes there are mornings when it’s harder. When I think I’m playing and I’m not. It’s up to me to adapt.

Aren’t you lacking in rhythm?
It’s hard to take when you’re not playing. I am judged on few things. With Belgium, in September, I was of course in the first match (2-1 against Wales, September 22). Not so good the next one (0-1 in the Netherlands, September 25). It’s up to me to restore confidence even if I don’t doubt my qualities.

“I don’t want to leave Real Madrid. But… “

How did you prepare for this World Cup?
In a different way. I had more training. Here, I will not have time to rest. There is a first friendly match. It must be well prepared to foster confidence. I’m also waiting for the first game to have fun and have fun.

Are you considering a transfer in January?
I don’t want to leave Real Madrid. But the decision is not necessarily mine alone. We will analyze all that after the World Cup.

If you were coach, would you start in the Belgium team?
In your opinion ? On what I’ve done for the past two years, no. Over my last fifteen years and what I have done in the national team, yes.

“It’s my third World Cup, probably our last chance to win something”

Do you understand the doubts around you?
Sure. We always doubt the outside. It’s up to me to dispel this doubt in people’s heads, to show that I have good leftovers.

Competition with Leandro Trossard is fierce in your position.
He deserves to play more than me this season. If so, I will be the first to congratulate him. We can also play together. I will not let go. Afterwards, the coach will make his choices. I don’t make the team. There are only potential holders in selection. Whoever does not want competition must change discipline. I have always lived with. When I started in Lille, I took the place of players. I did the same at Chelsea. And one day someone will come who will take mine. I want to show that I haven’t become useless in two or three years. I have this strength, this motivation in me. For my family, the Belgian people. It’s my third World Cup, probably our last chance to win something. We want to go as far as possible. Afterwards, we know that many parameters can intervene. Luck can play a role. We will already focus on our first three matches. Then on the final phase if we qualify. We were at the peak of our form in 2018. There, I play less, like Romelu (Lukaku). Our defense is a bit older. But we have good young people and good old ones.

“My ankle mobility is better”

Can a captain remain on the bench?
Sometimes yes. But not all the time (smile). You have to ask the coach. Mentally and physically, I feel great. I am in the same situation as at the last Euro where I gradually gained in rhythm. I played fifteen minutes in the first match. And a little more each time. I felt very good against Portugal (1-0, Round of 16 before getting injured at the very end of the game). We have super competent medical and technical staff for that.

Will this be your last major tournament with Belgium?
It’s possible. I do not project myself on the next Euro (2024, Germany) or on 2026. We are several in this case. We will see our level of motivation for after the World Cup. On a personal level, I feel better since the operation (a plate was removed from one of his ankles). I no longer have small injuries that I did not understand existed. My legs hurt less. My ankle mobility is better. My speed has not changed. It is the question of rhythm which is now the most important. »

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