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National team manager defends Real Madrid winger against ‘lazy’ comments on weight



Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Eden Hazard is set to play a critical role for Belgium in the upcoming 2022 FIFA World Cup. However, the forward has been far from important in the Real Madrid squad, having fallen behind the likes of Vinicius Junior, Rodrygo and even Marco Asensio in the pecking order.

The former Chelsea superstar has faced criticism not only for his performances but also for his physical shape. Many fans have indeed criticised the forward at the start of the season, calling him ‘overweight’.

However, in a recent interview with talkSPORT, Belgium manager Roberto Martinez has criticised the fans who called out Hazard for his physical shape, labelling the comments as ‘lazy’.

“Eden Hazard can have bad games and can have moments when he’s not at his best. People say it’s because of his body shape or he’s carrying too much body fat.

“Well, he’s carrying the same body fat when he makes a difference. You need to understand that it’s a player based on his talent and not a player based on the physicality he brings to the game,” he said.

Hazard may have scored only seven goals for Real Madrid in all competitions, but he does have a stellar record against Belgium. He has featured in 122 matches for his country, scoring 33 goals.

“He’s got his strengths in taking people on in this one-vs-one action. If he doesn’t play well then the easy comment, the lazy comment, is that he’s not as thin or athletic as he should be.

“I think that’s an irrelevant comment and I see it as a lazy comment. Eden can have good games and bad games, but he always has the same body shape,” Martinez added.

With the World Cup less than three weeks away, Hazard will be hoping to play a starring role for his country and help the highly talented Belgian team secure the coveted title for the first time. The Red Devils will kickstart their campaign on November 23 when they take on Canada at Al Rayyan Stadium.

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid, Barcelona, Liverpool monitoring 19-year-old Bundesliga wonderkid – Romano



Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

According to Fabrizio Romano, Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Liverpool are all monitoring Bayer Leverkusen and Germany wonderkid Florian Wirtz.

After recovering from his ACL injury, the teenage sensation has been slowly working his way back to his best form. So far this term, Wirtz has managed to rack up a tally of two goals and six assists from 13 matches in all competitions.

The 19-year-old’s talent and potential have never been in question and hence it does not come as a surprise that elite clubs such as Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Liverpool are all keeping tabs on the German international.

A versatile attacking midfielder, Wirtz is capable of playing anywhere in the final third of the pitch and backs up with top-notch end product. Be it as a false-nine or in a more withdrawn role, the youngster has excelled for Bayer Leverkusen, catching the attention of top teams.

Real Madrid, for their part, are also understood to be among Wirtz’s admirers. Given the situation surrounding Karim Benzema’s fitness and the lack of backup at the top, the youngster could be an option, as he has shown potential while operating through the middle.

But Barcelona also have a strong interest in the teenager with reports even suggesting that they have already made contact with his father to enquire about his situation.

At the same time, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is understood to be a huge admirer of his fellow German and with Roberto Firmino on his way out, Wirtz could be lined up as a possible replacement.

However, Romano adds that the expectation is that Wirtz could stay at Bayer Leverkusen for one more year and depart Germany once the UEFA Euro 2024 is out of the way.

For now, there have been talks or negotiations with any clubs, but Real Madrid, Barcelona and Liverpool are all tracking Wirtz and his progress in Germany.

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