- Hazard humiliated in training game
- Exiled from Ancelotti's lineup
- Still under contract at Real until 2024
WHAT HAPPENED? Hazard, who had some time off during the international break after deciding to retire from Belgium duty following the 2022 World Cup, took part in a training game at Real Madrid on Thursday that saw the first-team mix with Castilla players. According to Relevo, the 32-year-old was way off the pace physically during the contest and had difficulty dribbling past any of his opponents, with head coach Carlo Ancelotti watching on from the sidelines.
🏆 TOP STORY: Gavi loses first-team status at Barca
📣 HAVE YOUR SAY: Who should replace Conte at Spurs?
🚨 MUST READ: The cost of top-four failure for Liverpool
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Hazard has only featured in seven games across all competitions for Real this season and doesn't appear to figure into Ancelotti's long-term plans. The former Chelsea winger still has one year left on his contract and is reportedly eager to see out that agreement, but speculation over a potential summer exit continues to rage.
AND WHAT'S MORE: Ancelotti gave a brutal response when asked to explain Hazard's lack of minutes in an interview with Eleven Belgium earlier this month. "I'm not here to give each player minutes, I'm here to win games," he said. "I put the best starting eleven to win games. I don't look at how much a player earns or his age, it’s just about performances."
At the moment there appears to be no way back for Hazard, who finds himself behind the likes of Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo in the attacking pecking order at Santiago Bernabeu.
IN TWO PHOTOS:(C)Getty Images
WHAT NEXT FOR HAZARD? The former Belgium international will hope to be in Ancelotti's next squad with a view to making an impact off the bench as Real prepare for a La Liga meeting with Real Valladolid on Sunday.