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Eden Hazard

'My ankle won't be the same again' - Hazard aware he must prove himself for Belgium after injury troubles

19:52 GMT 20/06/2021
Euro 2020 Top 100 Eden Hazard
The winger is expected to start Belgium's last game of the group stage but he admits he cannot play the full 90 minutes

Eden Hazard believes he will need to change his playing style because of his recurring ankle injury.

The Belgium winger has been ravaged by injuries since moving to Real Madrid two years ago.

Hazard, 30, was limited to just 10 starts in La Liga and the Champions League in 2020-21 as he endured several spells on the sidelines throughout the campaign.

What has been said?

The Belgium star admits he is still not ready to play a full game but insists he can still shine for club and country.

"We'll see how the game goes, but I may not be ready for 90 minutes," he said at a press conference ahead of Monday's game against Finland. 

"I'm going to play as many minutes as possible at a high level. If it's 50, it's 50. If it's 60, it's 60. We will see. 

"I never doubted my qualities, but whether I would be 100 per cent fit for the European Championship. 

"I broke my ankle three times, it will never be the same as it was 10 years ago. But I know that if I'm in shape, I can prove myself on the pitch. That's what I'm working on now."

Hazard at Euro 2020

The former Chelsea star has come off the bench in the second half of his side's first two matches.

Belgium are already sure of a place in the next round, meaning Roberto Martinez could make some changes to his side for the final group-stage match against Finland on Monday.

Martinez has said that Hazard should start the match and the player is eager to get in shape ahead of the last 16.

"I am not 100% yet, but I am ready to start. But that was the plan, to bring me in gradually," he added.

"It is especially important to be completely fit in the knockout phase. Then I have to be in top shape.

"We have to work to get even better. We are doing our best to get better, starting with tomorrow. The tournament is still long and we are trying to get as far as possible. 

"There are still areas for improvement, but we are here to work on it."

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