Belgium manager Martinez offers fitness update on Hazard, asserts Real Madrid star is crucial for the Red Devils

Eden Hazard, Jeremy Doku and Roberto Martinez of Belgium
Eden Hazard, Jeremy Doku and Roberto Martinez of Belgium | Photo Credit: IMAGO

Eden Hazard has endured an injury-plagued season at Real Madrid.

Belgium manager Roberto Martinez has offered his thoughts on Eden Hazard‘s fitness after the Real Madrid star appeared for the final few minutes in the friendly against Croatia.

Martinez said that Hazard’s objective was to be on the pitch no matter how long he plays. However, he cast doubts on the former Chelsea’s star availability.

“The target for Eden is for him to be on the pitch.

“It was almost a psychological step. The minutes didn’t matter. Now he will have to get more minutes. The next step will be in training. He has to take that step forward without risk in a safe way.

“It is difficult to say when he will be ready; I think it depends on many things. What matters is that he is medically well now. I want to see Eden Hazard happy, with a smile on his face, and making the difference.”

Martinez sees “unlucky Hazard” as crucial to the Red Devils.

Hazard has had two difficult seasons at Los Blancos, barely making an impact due to a string of injury setbacks.

However, Martinez feels that the ex-Blues star was unlucky to be inconsistent at the Spanish capital while insisting that the 30-year-old is still crucial to Belgium.

“There is little talk of the luck factor in football, and so far, he has not had it in Madrid.

“There, he cannot be valued because he has not been on the field. Before, at Chelsea, he had never been injured.

“For us, he is an essential player, he is the captain, a symbol, and I hope that mixed with the environment we have, he will be able to change his luck and smile again on the field.”

Belgium will commence their European Championship campaign against Russia, which hosted the 2018 FIFA World Cup.