Eden Hazard was part of the Belgium squad for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 qualifiers. They have already qualified for the mega tournament next year, so Hazard has been released from international duty and has returned to Real Madrid along with his teammate Courtois.
Both the players will no longer take part in Belgium’s match against Wales. Belgium coach Roberto Martinez has revealed that this move was thought of from before.
Martinez said, via Marca: “The plan was always that, if we qualified for the World Cup, Hazard would only play one game. We played him for an hour, and now he can focus on Real Madrid, given the schedule they have.”
“It’s important for him to play with Real Madrid to rediscover his rhythm. Playing for us was ideal to getting back to that.”
Hazard joined Real Madrid from Chelsea in 2019 and have been suffering from various injuries since then.
His Belgium teammate Axel Witsel also repeated Martinez’s thoughts on his captain: “He wasn’t fit enough to play twice in three days.”
Christian Benteke also came to the defence of Hazard. He said that Hazard’s development as a player isn’t unusual and he still has a lot of quality despite changing his style due to injuries.