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Is Hazard overweight? Real Madrid outcast defended from ‘lazy’ criticism by Belgium boss Martinez

8:08 PM IST 01/11/22
Eden Hazard Real Madrid 2022-23
Roberto Martinez claims to have no issue with Eden Hazard’s weight and considers talk of the Real Madrid forward being “fat” to be “lazy” criticism.
  • Blancos forward struggling for minutes
  • Questions asked of form and fitness
  • Has support of national team coach

WHAT HAPPENED? The Belgium international continues to struggle for game time at club level, with questions having been asked of his form and fitness ever since a big-money transfer from Chelsea was completed in 2019. Hazard’s professionalism has once again fallen under the microscope in 2022-23, amid accusations of failing to get himself into shape, but his national team coach has no issue with a proven performer heading toward the 2022 World Cup finals.

WHAT THEY SAID: Martinez has told talkSPORT of a debate that he is growing tired of hearing: “Eden Hazard can have bad games and can have moments when he’s not at his best. People say it’s because of his body shape of he’s carrying too much body fat. Well he’s carrying the same body fat when he makes a difference. You need to understand that it’s a player based on his talent and not a player based on the physicality he brings to the game.

“He’s got his strengths in taking people on in this one-vs-one action. If he doesn’t play well then the easy comment, the lazy comment, is that he’s not as thin or athletic as he should be. I think that’s an irrelevant comment and I see it as a lazy comment. Eden can have good games and bad games, but he always has the same body shape.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Hazard has admitted that he was overweight when joining Real Madrid, but has worked hard since then to prove his worth to a demanding fan base – with an unfortunate run of injuries doing his cause few favours there.

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WHAT NEXT? Hazard has taken in just 98 minutes of La Liga competition this season, while seeing three outings in the Champions League, and now finds himself stuck behind the likes of Vinicius Junior, Rodrygo and Marco Asensio in Carlo Ancelotti’s plans at Santiago Bernabeu.