• Hazard can win the Ballon d’Or at Real Madrid – Martinez

    Eden Hazard

    Eden Hazard can win the Ballon d’Or at Real Madrid, according to Belgium head coach Roberto Martinez.

    Hazard swapped Chelsea for Madrid in a blockbuster €100 million (£89m/$112m) transfer at the start of the 2019-20 season but the Belgium star has struggled at the Santiago Bernabeu.

    Injury and fitness problems have limited Hazard to just 15 appearances in the Spanish capital, where the attacker had not played since February 22 due to a broken ankle prior to the coronavirus pandemic.

    But national team boss Martinez is expecting big things from Hazard.

    “He can totally win the Ballon d’Or with Real Madrid, without a doubt,” Martinez told Cadena Ser.

    “Sometimes it takes a difficult start at your new club to give everything you have inside and understand what it means to play in a great club like Real Madrid.

    “Eden does not miss games, he lost 18 games with Chelsea in eight years and this has been circumstantial. The game that was injured against Paris Saint-Germain we already saw Eden with a lot of joy in his football with a great connection with his team-mates.

    “I think Real Madrid fans are confident that he will bring many successes.”

    Madrid last week returned to their Valdebebas base for the first time in two months, with most major sport across the globe suspended due to the Covid-19 crisis.

    The players undertook individual sessions before working in groups on Monday as La Liga clubs took a step towards resuming their normal activities, with the league hoping to restart in June.

    Martinez added: “He is very happy. The footballer Eden is in a moment of great joy, he is very comfortable.

    “All the steps have been taken in great detail and I would have had no problem to end the season with Real Madrid and reach the European Championship. I see him very happy and looking forward to some joy this season.”

    Martinez himself has been in the headlines recently, with the Spanish coach extending his deal with Belgium through until the end of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

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