The La Liga champions battled to a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Real Valladolid but were rocked by the news of another injury to the former Chelsea star.
Speaking after the Valladolid match, the Real Madrid manager said about Hazard's latest injury:
“It’s a different injury, it’s a muscular one. But I can’t say how long he’ll be out for. It happened in the final training session, and we thought it was just stiffness, but it turned out to be something more. That can happen. He is frustrated because he was doing well.”
Zidane also touched on the difficulty faced by his side against Valladolid and the problems posed by the visitors:
“This was not simple, but the most important thing is to take the three points. We’re going to improve. Remember, we haven’t had a pre-season. We weren’t so great in the first half. Then we made changes, which we’ll always do if needed.”
Former Eintracht Frankfurt man Luka Jovic started his second game in a row but had a match to forget before making way for goal-scorer Vinicius Jr. in the 58th minute.
Jovic's poor form has led to speculations that he could depart Real Madrid this summer, but Zidane was not forthcoming on the player's future at the club:
“I can’t confirm anything until October 5th, as anything can happen until then. Right now, he is a member of the squad. I decide the lineups, and that’s that.”
The latest injury setback for Eden Hazard will nevertheless come as a blow to Real Madrid fans who were expecting the Belgium international to carry the torch as the club seeks to defend their La Liga title.
Would Real Madrid ever get the best out of injury-plagued Eden Hazard?
Eden Hazard and Real Madrid have had a love affair that lasted almost a decade. Prior to his move to the Bernabeu, barely any transfer window passed without the 29-year-old being linked with the La Liga giants.
When Hazard finally completed his move to the Spain capital for a club-record fee last summer, there was widespread jubilation as many believed that it could be mutually beneficial for all parties involved.
However, that hasn't been the case as a recurring ankle injury prevented the former Lille man from shining in his debut campaign for Real Madrid. Eden Hazard ended his first season in Spain with just one goal from 22 matches in all competitions.
That is hardly the return expected from a marquee player like Eden Hazard who has also been accused of unprofessionalism and turning up for pre-season out of shape.
It remains to be seen if Eden Hazard is able to get back to his brilliant best, but if he does, it cannot be argued that Real Madrid will undoubtedly be better off.Published 01 Oct 2020, 19:51 IST