'Nothing has happened' for Hazard at Real Madrid, insists Ancelotti

By Sports Desk January 19, 2022

Carlo Ancelotti has reaffirmed there is no problem with Eden Hazard, who is finding Real Madrid game time hard to come by.

Hazard was an unused substitute in both of Madrid's Supercopa de Espana matches last week in Saudi Araba, as Los Blancos went on to win their first trophy of Ancelotti's second spell in charge.

The former Chelsea star, who turned 31 earlier in January, has endured an injury hit time at Santiago Bernabeu since his big-money move in 2019.

While he has in the main avoided injuries so far this season, Hazard has only made eight starts across all competitions, with his game time totalling 724 minutes.

Hazard has only completed a game on one occasion this season, having been subbed off in his other seven starts, and he has only assisted on two occasions from 27 chances created, failing to score himself.

Per 90 minutes played, Hazard has had 66 touches, with eight in the opposition area.

Vinicius Jr, who has excelled on the left flank – Hazard's preferred position – under Ancelotti, averages nine touches in the area per 90 minutes played, and he has featured 28 times this season in total.

The Brazil international creates 2.2 chances per 90 minutes and he has been directly involved in 22 goals (15 goals, seven assists), second only to Karim Benzema in Madrid's squad (33 – 24 goals, nine assists).

With such quality competition, Ancelotti explained it is natural for players to miss out, but insisted there is no issue between himself and Hazard.

"It is true that the two have had many setbacks due to injuries," Ancelotti told a news conference when asked about Hazard and Gareth Bale, who has played just 193 minutes across three appearances in 2021-22.

"Hazard has been doing well from a physical point of view for a month and a half. I don't have to advise Hazard, he has the character and the experience to choose the best for him.

 

"The quality of the two could have helped us more, but it's only been the first part of the season. Hopefully the second half can be better.

"Nothing strange has happened between us, simply that there is competition and the coach, which is me, has to choose the best for each game. I try to be fair and choose the best. Sometimes you are very good and you don't play. I'm also talking about Nacho, [Dani] Ceballos, Isco, [Luka] Jovic.

"Nothing has happened, only that there is competition in the team and I have to choose the best in each game. This affects many players, I can't deny it. Nothing has happened, he is training and waiting for the coach's call. I think he will be ready when it arrives."

Asked if Hazard might be moved out this month, Ancelotti said: "At the moment he is still a Madrid player, he is training, focused... We have nothing else to think about."

While Hazard did travel to Saudi Arabia for the Supercopa tournament, Bale instead remained in Madrid to work on his fitness, and Ancelotti said the Wales forward is available for Thursday's Copa del Rey meeting with Elche.

"He will be in the squad and all those who are have the chance to play from the beginning or as a sub. It can also happen that they don't play," the Italian added.

Thibaut Courtois will not be available due to a minor injury.

Related items

  • BREAKING NEWS: Mbappe stays at Paris Saint-Germain and turns down Real Madrid BREAKING NEWS: Mbappe stays at Paris Saint-Germain and turns down Real Madrid

    Kylian Mbappe has decided to stay at Paris Saint-Germain, turning down Real Madrid in a stunning move that few saw coming.

    Los Blancos made multiple bids for Mbappe in 2021, but all were turned down by PSG.

    Madrid had been widely expected to sign Mbappe as a free agent, with reports earlier this month claiming the deal was all but done.

    Mbappe was voted Ligue 1 player of the season for a third successive time last week, before declaring at the Union Nationale des Footballeurs Professionnels award ceremony in Paris that he would resolve his future before France's Nations League fixtures in June.

    However, in an extraordinary twist, reports circulated that Mbappe had in fact decided to take up PSG's offer of a new contract and remain in the French capital.

    His mother and agent confirmed on Friday that agreements had been reached with both clubs and, on Saturday before PSG's season-ending game against Metz, it was confirmed Mbappe would be staying put. He has signed a three-year deal.

    Mbappe was paraded on the pitch before the game at Parc des Princes, with a "2025" shirt.

    The 23-year-old has enjoyed another stellar campaign, scoring 36 goals and providing 21 assists across all competitions for PSG.

    Mbappe is the club's second-highest goalscorer, behind Edinson Cavani, having overtaken Zlatan Ibrahimovic when he netted for the 157th time in a PSG shirt earlier this season.

    Despite their wealth, PSG keeping hold of Mbappe is a huge coup for the Ligue 1 champions.

    PSG's efforts to win the Champions League again fell short this term, despite Mbappe's sensational performance over two legs against Madrid, but with the forward still on board, alongside Lionel Messi and Neymar, European success will again be the priority target in 2022-23.

  • Capitals fall to Mumbai to hand RCB final IPL play-off spot Capitals fall to Mumbai to hand RCB final IPL play-off spot

    Delhi Capitals missed out on the Indian Premier League play-offs after Tim David capitalised on a reprieve in a five-wicket win for Mumbai Indians on Saturday.

    The Capitals, requiring a victory at the Wankhede Stadium to make the last four, were limited to 159-7, with Jasprit Bumrah (3-25)  the pick of the bowlers.

    Rovman Powell (43) and Rishabh Pant (39) fell short of half-centuries, but Delhi's total looked competitive as the Indians made a slow start in response.

    Mumbai struggled to 27-1 at the end of the powerplay after Anrich Nortje dismissed captain Rohit Sharma, who managed only two off 13 deliveries.

    Ishan Kishan offered more attacking intent, scoring 48 off 35 balls before falling to Kuldeep Yadav (1-33) in the 12th over and Dewald Brevis (37) followed to Shardul Thakur soon after with 65 runs still required.

    Pant failed to review when David, on nought, edged behind and the Australian capitalised by blasting an 11-ball 34 before he was removed by Thakur (2-32) to leave Mumbai needing just 15 from 13 balls.

    Ramandeep Singh (13 not out) saw Rohit's side over the line with five deliveries to spare, which meant Royal Challengers Bangalore took the final play-off spot and will face Lucknow Super Giants in the eliminator on Wednesday.

    Brilliant Bumrah

    Bumrah has been somewhat off the pace for the struggling Mumbai in this year's competition, barring his excellent 5-10 against Kolkata Knight Riders.

    However, the India quick was in imperious form in the first innings of this game, removing Prithvi Shaw (24), Mitchell Marsh (nought) and Powell to take his tally to 15 in the 2022 IPL.

    Pant's reviews

    Pan dropped a simple chance when Brevis skied Kuldeep on 25. The skipper then ignored Thakur's advice and opted to not review when David edged behind.

    The Capitals captain followed that up by reviewing a Nortje delivery to Tilak Varma that pitched well outside leg stump, capping a miserable day for the India wicketkeeper.

  • 'An insult to football' – LaLiga chief Tebas furious as Mbappe chooses PSG over Real Madrid 'An insult to football' – LaLiga chief Tebas furious as Mbappe chooses PSG over Real Madrid

    LaLiga chief Javier Tebas took a swipe at Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi as it emerged Real Madrid have missed out on Kylian Mbappe, claiming the Qatari was "as dangerous as the Super League". 

    The Spanish league did not have sufficient appeal to persuade Mbappe to give up the riches on offer at PSG, as reports on Saturday said the 23-year-old has picked Paris over Madrid. 

    Al-Khelaifi has been president at PSG since October 2011, with Qatar Sports Investments orchestrating dramatic change at the French club, bringing a host of global superstars to the Parc des Princes. 

    He resisted pushing PSG into the controversial European Super League project, but the enormous investment in the club has not gone unquestioned. They have been able to attract the likes of Neymar, Lionel Messi and Sergio Ramos away from LaLiga. 

    LaLiga president Tebas has now questioned how PSG can afford to offer World Cup winner Mbappe what is expected to be one of the biggest deals in the history of football. 

    Cadena Cope radio show Tiempo de Juego has claimed LaLiga could launch a complaint against PSG over the renewal of Mbappe, questioning whether the Ligue 1 champions are operating within financial fair play limits. 

    Tebas wrote on Twitter: "What PSG are going to do by renewing Mbappe with large amounts of money (namely where and how they pay him) after giving losses of €700m in recent seasons and having more than €600m of salary bill, is an INSULT to football. Al-Khelaifi is as dangerous as the Super League." 

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.