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Roberto Martinez rules out Eden Hazard making a U-turn on international retirement

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Photo by JACK GUEZ/AFP via Getty Images

Eden Hazard’s official retirement from international football last month did not come as a surprise to many. After all, the Belgian had been struggling for form for several years and had endured a torrid World Cup.

Yet, one could not help but feel that the 31-year-old’s decision was spontaneous and premature. Considering the world-class player that he was in the Premier League not too long ago, one would have expected him to be the protagonist of his country for at least another World Cup.

Former Belgium manager Roberto Martinez recently gave an interview to HLN about his departure from the national team setup during which he had some interesting words on Hazard’s situation and decision to retire. Here are the snippets from his interview as relayed by AS.

Martinez first addressed Hazard’s reduced game-time and Real Madrid and went on to reveal why the forward’s retirement did not come as a surprise to him.

“I can’t control the fact that Hazard doesn’t play in his club. His retirement wasn’t a surprise. Eden has two passions: his family and football. In one of those passions, he has suffered enormously in the last two years. He had never had injuries before.”

Since his international debut in 2008, Hazard has scored a total of 33 goals for his country across 126 appearances. Further, he has also assisted 36 goals. Martinez emphasised on the same aspect and said that the player’s name would be written in gold in his country’s history.

“He was an incredible player for the Red Devils, we must appreciate that. There were already big names above number 10 on the t-shirts, but he has written stories with gold letters in his position. He made the national team a better institution.”

Martinez was quizzed about a possible return to the National Team for the Real Madrid winger. However, the manager outright declined any such possibility and revealed why it would not happen.

“No. Eden is a team player. I don’t think he will return for a tournament for which he didn’t qualify on the field. Then it would also hinder someone who did it.”

Finally, the former Everton coach spoke his heart out and revealed one possibility which would serve as the perfect farewell for Hazard from International football.

“But my dream is, I’m not saying what’s happening, that Eden Hazard returns for the Paris Olympic Games. That would be a way to finish your international career. If the U-21 can qualify, wouldn’t it be great to see Eden Hazard play football in Paris?”

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Real Madrid News

National team manager reveals plans for Real Madrid wonderkid at the Euros

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Photo by WOJTEK RADWANSKI/AFP via Getty Images

Following a solid end to his debut campaign at Real Madrid, Arda Guler is all set to play a key part for Turkey at the UEFA Euro 2024.

The 19-year-old wonderkid struggled with injuries during the first half of the last season at Real Madrid but eventually made the most of his chances towards the final phase of the campaign.

All in all, Guler finished the 2023/24 season with a tally of six goals from 12 matches, winning La Liga, Spanish Super Cup, and the UEFA Champions League.

Vincenzo Montella’s plans for Guler with Turkey

A special talent like Guler, who is attracting a lot of interest heading into the summer, has what it takes to be a differential player for the Turkish national team.

Turkey manager Vincenzo Montella. (Photo by OZAN KOSE/AFP via Getty Images)

Ahead of their Euro opener against Georgia next week, Turkey manager Vincenzo Montella gave an insight into how he plans to use the Real Madrid youngster – whether as a starter or from the bench, and his position.

“Arda generally played on the right wing in both Fenerbahçe and Real Madrid. If he played alone, he could be number ten, but for now, he seems to be closer to playing on the right wing,” said Montella (h/t Sporx).

On whether Guler is ready to start in the major European tournament, he added: “The most important thing is to be able to establish balance well. He played well in the last match, and we have the desire to start with him. However, I am still in the decision stage.”

So far, Guler has made seven appearances for the Turkish national team, in which he has netted one goal. And, he will be looking forward to adding to that tally at the Euros, whether he starts as a right-winger or a No. 10.

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