Eden Hazard reflects on lack of playing time & his Real Madrid future
Real Madrid winger Eden Hazard has insisted he still sees himself at the club next season, despite an almost complete lack of playing time so far in 2022/23.
Hazard has one more year left on the contract he signed upon completing a €100m transfer from Chelsea in 2019. He has played only 98 minutes in La Liga all season and none at all since September.
The 32-year-old has struggled with injury throughout his time in Madrid, but manager Carlo Ancelotti has gone in a completely different direction this season and a fully fit Hazard has spent most games on the bench as an unused substitute.
“I want to play. I want to have fun on the field,” Hazard told RTBF.
“Training is good but what keeps us alive are the matches. I hope deep inside me that I can bring something and that the coach is still counting on me, I hope. We'll see if I'm still going to play by the end of the season. I doubt a little. It's up to me to show him in training that he can call on me.”
With Karim Benzema, Vinicius Junior, Rodrygo, Federico Valverde, Marco Asensio and even Mariano Diaz ahead of Hazard in the Real pecking order, the Belgian went on to admit that, in Ancelotti’s eyes, he ‘probably deserves less [playing times] than others’.
Even so, Hazard has little intention of continuing his career elsewhere
“I would like to stay. I have always said it,” he explained. “To hope to play on the pitch to prove that I can still play football. People have doubts, it's normal. I understand very well. But for me, I'm still here next year. A transfer is not in order of the day. But you never know.
“I don't know [what could change my mind]. The only thing I think about is playing. That's why I don't even think about leaving. Deep down inside, I think I can bring something. I feel it, that's all. People, if I bring a little, they'll trust me again. They might say to themselves that they made a mistake leaving me out. I just need minutes in the legs.”