It was just a matter of time until Eden Hazard’s challenging circumstances at Real Madrid started to affect his position with the national side.
With the World Cup approaching, the forward’s position on the squad is now a hot topic in his country.
Up until recently, his reputation for Belgium could withstand any difficult time. He was anticipated to bounce back to lead the Belgian squad after suffering a string of ailments.
The physical issues that caused him so much trouble are now behind him, however.
Hazard’s lack of playing time in Madrid is still going on, and in Belgium, many are already debating if this should have an impact on his position with the national team.
In other words, with the World Cup just around the way, some in Belgium are starting to wonder whether Hazard should truly continue to be a “starter.”
Reexamine the circumstance
The matter is still up in the air, but head coach Roberto Martinez has already started to handle it.
Although he acknowledges that something has changed and that he will need to assess the situation in the coming weeks, the coach is still steadfast in his support of the captain for the time being.
Martinez said in an interview with RTBF that Hazard “is still a very important player for the national team, that’s for sure.”
His knowledge, his influence over rivals, his capacity to kill a man and incite trouble, etc.
“In this profile, he’s still one of the finest in the world, in my view.
But now we need to consider if he can still play seven games in a very short amount of time, or 90 minutes.
“It is quite different, and in the next five weeks, his circumstances might alter significantly.
“Eden has played relatively few games for a long time, and that has repercussions, as everyone is aware.
“As the World Cup draws near, we will evaluate his status and see what role we can assign him.
“I don’t think of him as the No. 9 or even the striker’s backup.
He must play on the left side and enter the game from there.
He doesn’t strike me as a guy with impact off the bench either.
He is a player who must establish the game’s flow right away. We are well aware of what to anticipate from him.