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

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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

‘We will see’ – PSG manager coy on Kylian Mbappe’s future

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Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

Paris Saint-Germain manager Luis Enrique has asked for patience regarding Kylian Mbappe’s future, saying that everyone must wait for the player and PSG to make an official announcement.

Now that the Ligue 1 team has qualified for the UEFA Champions League semi-final, the player is rightly expected to focus on the continental glory, keeping aside his impending move to Real Madrid.

Speaking after his side’s 4-1 win over Barcelona in the UCL quarter-final, Enrique said that he cannot comment on anything unless Mbappe himself releases a statement.

“Let’s wait for Kylian to speak about his future. When Mbappe and PSG will speak in public, we will see,” said Enrique as quoted by Fabrizio Romano.

“It’s like a process. Until Mbappe goes and speaks in public, I’m just here waiting and staying silent,” he added.

What’s going on with Mbappe?

Mbappe’s time with PSG is coming to an end as his contract expires this season, and if reports are to be believed, he has chosen to depart as a free agent.

Reports suggest he is set to join Real Madrid, with rumours of a contract already in place.

Kylian Mbappe scored two goals against Barcelona. (Photo by JOSEP LAGO/AFP via Getty Images)

Now, it was suggested that PSG’s elimination from the Champions League could have hastened the process, potentially bringing Mbappe’s move to Madrid closer. 

However, their qualification for the semi-final, and the chance of facing Real Madrid in the final, mean any official announcement will likely be delayed.

As for the player, he revealed after the match that his future will not change even if PSG go on to win the UEFA Champions League. 

“Playing for the team from my country’s capital is very special, I dreamed of these play-offs when I came to PSG. It’s a great day for the club,” said the forward.

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