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Misfiring Real Madrid winger not bothered by criticism: “People talk”

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Photo by JACK GUEZ/AFP via Getty Images

Speaking at a press conference ahead of Belgium’s FIFA World Cup 2022 encounter against Morocco, Red Devils’ captain and Real Madrid winger Eden Hazard claimed that he is not bothered by the criticism directed towards him.

Since moving to Real Madrid in 2019, the 31-year-old has been constantly plagued by injury problems and fitness issues, as a result of which he has never been able to hit the heights expected of him at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Hazard has struggled for game-time at Real Madrid this season, but continues to remain a permanent fixture in the Belgium lineup despite his poor form.

There have been question marks over his spot in Roberto Martinez’s side but the former Chelsea ace insists that he is not bothered by what people say and remains focused on delivering his best for the team.

“When I started in Belgium I didn’t do very well either. Criticism doesn’t bother me, people talk and it’s part of football. I focus on the pitch. There will always be criticism. What I do is I try to focus on what I do on the field to help my team and I will always give my all,” he said (h/t MARCA).

Talking about his fitness issues, Hazard insisted that it was all a thing of the past and now he needs to keep playing regularly to get back to his best levels.

“Injuries are part of the past. I just want to enjoy myself on the pitch. Two years ago it was a difficult period for me. Now I’m fine and I want to show that I’m a good player. The more I play often, the better I’ll be. That’s how it is,” he added.

The Belgium captain also spoke about his team’s chances of winning the World Cup, stating that they were much better positioned to do it four years ago.

However, he did add that the Red Devils can still go the distance as they have the best goalkeeper in Thibaut Courtois, and the best midfielder in Kevin De Bruyne.

“We had a better chance of winning four years ago. We still have enough quality to win the World Cup, like the best goalkeeper in the world, the best midfielder in the world, good forwards… a very complete group,” Hazard said.

“We have the mentality to win; if we believe we can win, we can do it. If I play well, it will be easier for us to win the World Cup; now it’s my turn to make the difference, score goals and enjoy.”

Hazard played for a little over an hour in Belgium’s opening game against Canada and failed to make much of an impact. He will be hoping to fare better when his team face Morocco tomorrow, before taking on Croatia in their final group match. 

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid veteran set for a 40% salary reduction as part of new contract

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Photo by Yasser Bakhsh/Getty Images

Following Toni Kroos’ departure and speculation over Nacho Fernandez’s imminent move to Saudi Arabia, the potential contract extension of Luka Modric should serve as a breather of fresh air for Real Madrid fans.

The Croatian international is set to continue for another season at Santiago Bernabeu. His experience and leadership will play a key role in an otherwise young Real Madrid midfield unit.

Numbers behind Modric’s new contract

As Modric gears up for a new contract at Real Madrid, a recent report from Mundo Deportivo has offered details of his new deal at the Bernabeu.

It appears the Croatian international is ready to settle for a pay cut in order to continue at Real Madrid.

During the 2023/24 campaign, Modric’s net salary was around €10 million. However, there will be a substantial 40% reduction in his salary in the new deal.

Modric to take a pay cut at Real Madrid next season. (Photo by PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA/AFP via Getty Images)

That means Modric is set to earn around €6 million net salary for the 2024/25 campaign. The terms of the new deal have been approved by the player’s entourage as well.

Set for greatness in 24/25

At the age of 38, Modric has already broken several records, including becoming the oldest player to represent Real Madrid.

But the former Tottenham midfielder could achieve much more in the coming season. If he retires by the end of next season, he will become the oldest player to retire at Real Madrid, at the age of 39. Not to mention, the midfielder will turn 40 in September 2025.

In addition, Modric currently holds six Champions League titles – equalling the tally of the legendary Paco Gento.

If the Croatian ends up winning the UCL title once again, he will create history by becoming the player with the most Champions League titles in the history of football.

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