Football News

Carlo Ancelotti: Eden Hazard is fit, but he’s not a Real Madrid star and I prefer other players

By Ben Green

Published: 12:15, 28 October 2021

Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti says Eden Hazard is free from injury at the minute, but he is not currently in his first-team plans.

The Belgian star has endured an injury-ridden existence in the Spanish capital since trading Chelsea for Real in 2019, with the 30-year-old managing just 25 La Liga starts during his two-and-a-bit seasons at the 13-time European champions.

Once again Hazard has fluctuated between a starting berth this campaign and entering the turf as a substitute, though he was recently left on the bench for the weekend’s highly-anticipated El Clasico, with Real beating rivals Barcelona 2-1 at the Camp Nou.

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With Hazard’s latest snub he was afforded just 21 minutes against Osasuna on Wednesday night as the capital club failed to break down an in-form Los Rojillos. That 0-0 at the Bernabeu moved Real to first, but a win would have strengthened their grip at the summit.

There are now further questions arising as to where Hazard stands at Real, with Ancelotti now confirming the once Premier League Player of the Season is fit and available, but there are others ahead of him in the pecking order.

He told reporters on Tuesday ahead of the club’s clash with Osasuna: “He can play 4-3-3 on the left or 4-4-2 above or behind the striker.

“He is ready to play, but the problem is that there is a coach who prefers another player.

“He does not have a star status at Madrid because he has had many injuries and little by little he will have his best version.

“I am sure that this season we will see his best version and that he will play more than he is doing now.

“Hazard has it. Everything: quality, motivation. He has to endure, what happens is that sometimes the coach prefers other players ”

Hazard will get another chance to make the pitch for this weekend’s journey to the Valencian Community as Real face a struggling Elche, looking to consolidate their position atop the table, before welcoming last season’s European nemesis Shakhtar Donetsk to the Bernabeu next week.

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