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Roberto Martinez confirms Eden Hazard will start as captain for Belgium against Canada



Belgium national football team head coach Roberto Martinez has confirmed that Eden Hazard will not only start against Canada but will also wear the captain’s armband in their 2022 FIFA World Cup opener at Ahmed bin Ali Stadium in Qatar.

Hazard, 31, has barely featured for Real Madrid this season, having started a mere two games across La Liga and UEFA Champions League combined. And although it is certain that he does not have the trust of his club manager Carlo Ancelotti, the case is different when he plays under Martinez.

“[Thiabuat] Courtois, [Toby] Alderweireld, [Jan] Vertonghen, [Axel] Witsel, [Kevin] De Bruyne & [Eden] Hazard who will be captain will all start against Canada,” Martinez was quoted by HLN.

Hazard, whose Real Madrid future is in extreme jeopardy, is highly tipped to leave the team in January itself as he simply has no place in Ancelotti’s plans. As things stand, however, he wishes to wait until the end of the season to make a decision on his future.

There are reports that he has attracted interest from the Premier League side Newcastle United, but the English team is only willing to shell out €10 million for the winger mostly because of his age and his troubled past with regard to injuries.

Meanwhile, Martinez also shed light on Hazard’s recent years at Real Madrid and admitted that although his captain has endured a difficult period, his presence makes up for a lot in the dressing room.

“Hazard is our captain. He is going through a difficult situation, but when he is with Belgium he is totally different. We have the luxury of having Hazard in our locker room. 

He is totally committed to us. He has the experience and the talent. He has not lost that. Then, like the rest, he has to earn his place; it is good that there is this competitiveness,” he added.

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid could be in trouble with RFEF if too many Spanish players leave



It is astounding that despite being the biggest club in Spain, Real Madrid do not have many Spanish players to show for it.

Los Blancos do indeed boast of a special diversity in the dressing room, but their lack of locally trained players could pose problems according to MARCA.

The Spanish outlet confirms that UEFA does not mandate the inclusion of any minimum number of locally grown players for a club. However, the Spanish federation stipulates that a club in Spain must boast of at least eight players who meet a specific set of conditions.

Of the aforementioned eight candidates, there must be at least four players who have spent three seasons or 36 months at the club between the ages of 15 and 21.

Currently, only Nacho Fernandez, Dani Carvajal, Lucas Vazquez, Federico Valverde, Vinicius Jr, Rodrygo and Mariano make up the required number on that front.

The problem, however, arises with the condition for the other four players in the list of eight. RFEF stipulates that the second set of four players must have completed at least 36 months in teams attached to the federation of Spain between the ages of 15 and 21.

Only Jesus Vallejo, Alvaro Odriozola, Marco Asensio and Dani Ceballos tick the aforementioned box. However, all four players have uncertain futures at the club and are well-placed to depart in the summer.

There are thus big decisions to be taken over the transfer strategy for June. Real Madrid can work ways to ship all four players out, it would require the re-integration of players like Sergio Arribas, Miguel Gutierrez or Fran Garcia to ensure the fulfilment of the criteria.

With both Vallejo and Odriozola seemingly frozen out of Ancelotti’s plans, their departures from Santiago Bernabeu appear inevitable. Thus, the management could be forced to renew one of Asensio or Ceballos come June.

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