Eden Hazard is suffering through a “sad moment” in his career, according to Belgium boss Roberto Martinez.
Form and fitness woes have dogged Hazard since his big-money move to Real Madrid from Chelsea in 2019.
The 30-year-old soared to global prominence during a glittering seven-year spell at Stamford Bridge during which he won the Premier League twice, but he has failed to recapture that brilliance at the Santiago Bernabeu.
With Hazard only on the fringes of Carlo Ancelotti’s Madrid team this season, Martinez conceded the forward is not having the best of times.
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“In the recent years, he has lived with it, but he has been concentrated on the national team,” said Martinez, whose side secured their spot at the 2022 World Cup last week.
“We need him to arrive at the World Cup prepared. We have grown as a dressing room.
“Eden is in a sad moment, football-wise. He has left winners projects [but] he doesn’t have the rhythm of competition.”
Hazard has made just four starts in a total of 10 appearances in LaLiga this season, spending 350 minutes on the pitch.
That time has yielded only one assist, with Hazard yet to score this term.
In his 116 appearances for his country, Hazard has found the net 33 times, but has added only one to that tally during qualifying for Qatar 2022.