Real Madrid winger Eden Hazard has been omitted from Zinedine Zidane’s squad for Saturday’s trip to Real Betis.
The Belgian, who missed a large part of the 2019/20 campaign through various injuries, was sidelined for Real’s dull 0-0 draw with Real Sociedad, but there was some optimism that he might be ready for a return against Betis.
So, when Real unveiled their 22-man squad for the game on Twitter and Hazard’s name was nowhere to be seen, fans were more than a little confused by the whole thing.
After all, in the build-up to the game, Zidane has suggested that Hazard had made a long-awaited return to full fitness, agreeing with a claim from Belgium boss Roberto Martínez that Hazard is now recovered from the injury.
“He has no discomfort from his injury, the only thing, as always, is that he has had just a few training sessions with the team,” Zidane said (via AS).
“He has to go little by little, that’s it. But it won’t take long. He’s going to be with the team. What I said before the Real Sociedad game is what we want and what he wants also: to come back in and feel 100% well.
According to L’Équipe, Zidane was not prepared to risk Hazard, who may well be healthy but is still believed to be sorely lacking in match fitness.
Zidane has seemingly learned from his mistake last season, when he brought Hazard back from a lengthy absence from a foot injury only to lose the winger again to the same issue just two weeks later.
It’s news which won’t go down well among Real fans, many of whom are frustrated after seeing their record signing manage just one goal and seven assists in all competitions last season. Comparisons to Gareth Bale are not far away.
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