Eden Hazard is working his way back from another injury setback at Real Madrid, with the last six weeks spent on the sidelines, but Goal has learned that the Belgian is working harder than ever to repay the faith shown in him by the Blancos and Zinedine Zidane.
A back problem has prevented the 30-year-old forward from making an impact of late, with just 13 appearances taken in across all competitions this season.
Hazard is, however, back at Zidane’s disposal for a meeting with Elche on Saturday and is determined to make up for the lost time that has continued to stack up at Santiago Bernabeu.
What is Hazard doing differently?
It is no secret that the Belgium international has never been the biggest fan of hard work behind the scenes.
He has always been eager to point out that his energy is best saved for out on the field, with productive careers for club and country allowing him to justify methods that may not be to everyone’s liking.
Goal has, however, learned that Hazard has been hitting the gym harder than ever of late.
Having facing regular questioning of his weight in the past, every effort is now being made to get himself into the best possible shape.
What else has he been doing?
It is not just the physical side of his game that Hazard has been working on, with the importance of being mentally strong also being embraced.
Another fitness setback in early February hit the Blancos winger hard, with understandable frustration in danger of spilling over.
Rather than wallow in self misery, Hazard ensured that he surrounded himself with positive people and those who know him best.
He has said that injuries are “not the end of the world for me because I can spend time with my kids”, with a strong support network being set up.
How many games has Hazard missed through injury?
Frequent spells on the treatment table have seen Hazard restricted to just 2,176 minutes of competitive football for Real across 35 games.
Since making a high-profile €100 million (£86m/$120m) move from Chelsea in 2019, only four goals and seven assists have been contributed to the Blancos cause.
His latest spell on the sidelines have led to seven games being sat out, to go with the 17 others he has already missed through injury this season.
In total, Hazard has been ruled out of 50 fixtures for Real across less than two campaigns.
What has been said?
Zidane has continued to show unwavering belief in Hazard despite being without an expensive asset more often than anyone in Madrid would have liked.
The Frenchman has said ahead of the Belgian’s latest return to action: “He looks well physically and emotionally. He's overcome all these injuries, these aches and now he looks good, that's why he's with us and I hope he can play.
“He had a lengthy injury that he hadn't had before, but he has a long contract and I think he's a player who, when he gets fit, is going to be great, I'm certain of it.
“It's difficult when a player has an injury and isn't 100%, but I'm sure he's going to do very well here.”
Hazard has vowed to get back to his best and stated that he intends to remain at the top for several more seasons.
He has told Premier Sports Network: “When it comes to the end of my career I can look back at my achievements, but my priority now is playing well and enjoying my football. I don’t think about where I will be in the next few years, I try to focus on the next match and the next training session.
“I’ve only just turned 30 so as long as my body feels good, hopefully I can keep playing for at least another five or six years.”