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Real Madrid winger’s place in the national team being questioned amidst struggles

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Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

While Eden Hazard may have been struggling endlessly at Real Madrid, his place in the Belgium national team has never come under threat.

The 31-year-old’s powers have been on the wane over the past three years since he joined Los Blancos, as a consequence of which his game-time has taken a huge hit.

In spite of his ordeals at the club level, Belgium manager Roberto Martinez has always placed his faith in the former Chelsea superstar, with Hazard even being the captain of the Red Devils.

However, according to latest reports from MARCA, the Real Madrid winger’s spot in the Belgium national is being questioned ahead of the World Cup due to his underwhelming form as well as fitness problems.

In a recent interview with RTBF, as relayed by the aforementioned outlet, Martinez continued to put his faith in Hazard, as he said:

“Hazard is still a very important player for the national team, that’s for sure. His experience, his influence over opponents, his ability to eliminate a man, to create danger… In this profile, he is still, in my opinion, one of the best in the world.”

However, the former Everton manager himself expressed doubts over whether Hazard can play continuously for a run of six or seven games in quick succession as would be needed at the World Cup.

“But now we have to ask ourselves if he can still play 90 minutes or seven games in a very short period of time. Everyone knows that Eden has played very few games for a long time and that has consequences,” he said.

So far this season, Hazard has played just four matches in all competitions for Real Madrid, scoring and assisting one goal apiece – both of which came in a single game against Celtic.

As for the Belgian national team, the 31-year-old has not scored a goal in nine matches.

Given that his game-time is unlikely to improve any time soon, question marks are bound to raise over whether he warrants a place in the Belgium team which has some talented stars like Charles De Ketelaere and Leandro Trossard waiting for an opportunity.

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Real Madrid News

Ancelotti devises plan to prepare Real Madrid defensive ace for Bayern Munich clash

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Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images

Eder Militao has charted a remarkable recovery to return from an ACL injury he suffered on the first day of the 2023/24 season.

The Brazilian international came back to action in late March, featuring for a couple of minutes against Athletic Club – the very team against whom he had sustained the injury.

Following that, the centre-back has also featured sparingly in games against Mallorca and Manchester City, although he is yet to start a game.

Ancelotti has plan for Militao

Now, AS reports that Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has devised a plan for Militao to be ready to go when the team face Bayern Munich later this month in the UEFA Champions League semifinal first leg.

Militao is expected to play an important role in the Champions League semi-finals. The coaching staff is counting on him to reinforce the team’s defensive capabilities.

The first phase of his reintegration into the dynamics of the competition, which was more psychological than physical, has already been completed.

Ancelotti has a plan for Militao. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Ancelotti, who has now drawn up a special plan to give him minutes in order to get him ready (physically) for the semi-finals.

First Militao will be used in the Clásico today, depending on how the game goes. Then against Real Sociedad next week, on this occasion, the Brazilian could even likely be a starter.

At centre-back or right-back

Militao will have options to play against Bayern Munich in the centre of defence, alongside Antonio Rudiger, but also at right-back, as Dani Carvajal will miss the game because he picked up his third yellow card of the season at the Etihad.

It will all depend on how the Brazilian performs in the two remaining games against Barça and Real Sociedad before the UCL semi-final first leg on 30 April.

For the second leg, on 8 May, at the Bernabeu, Militao will compete on equal terms with the rest of the back four. There will be one more game between the two contests, against Cadiz, for him to get minutes. That’s what Ancelotti is counting on with the Brazilian.

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