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



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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Atletico Madrid News

Real Madrid star approached by Atletico over summer move, player wants to stay



Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Dani Ceballos is one of the players who has Real Madrid on the fence after his recent resurgence. The club appeared certain to part ways with the player during the commencement of the 2022/23 season but no longer find the decision as straightforward.

According to reports from MARCA, Real Madrid are in no hurry to renew Ceballos’ contract. Though his deal runs out in the summer, the Merengues prefer to focus fully on the competitions they are alive in instead of entering auctions for his renewal.

Ceballos has given Los Blancos the signal that his priority is to stay and is waiting for an offer from the board. However, nobody from the administration has contacted him yet.

Sniffing a moment of opportunity, Atletico Madrid have entered the scene and conveyed their interest in signing the midfield star. Los Rojiblancos have already called his entourage twice in recent weeks and a move away from the Bernabeu cannot be ruled out.

At 26 years of age, the Spaniard wishes for regular starts and playing time. It would be difficult for such demands to be met in Real Madrid owing to the sheer number of young prodigies rising in the middle of Los Blancos.

Come next season, Ceballos could be lost in the mix of Aurelien Tchouameni, Eduardo Camavinga, Federico Valverde and veterans like Toni Kroos, while Jude Bellingham could also arrive.

Ceballos has made 19 appearances for the defending champions in La Liga this season, providing one assist in that duration. At just 10 starts and 44 minutes averaged per game, however, his role is clearly centred around the bench.

Moving to Atletico Madrid could thus work well in his favour for he is almost guaranteed playing time in Simeone’s system which is in dire need of a quality attacking midfielder.

The player is currently on international duty with La Roja for the Euro qualifiers. In the team’s opener against Norway, he came on at the hour mark and made a strong cameo with three key passes and a big chance created.

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