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Belgium

Hazard admits he is no longer at his best but insists he 'can still do great things'

00:16 GMT+3 20/11/2022
Eden Hazard Belgium 2022:23
Eden Hazard has admitted his level has dropped significantly since his last appearance at the World Cup, but still backs his technical ability.
  • Hazard makes big admission after poor Madrid form
  • Backs his own technical ability
  • Suggests he enjoys the off-season too much

WHAT HAPPENED? In 2019 Hazard made a big money move to Real Madrid after a sensational season at Chelsea. However, somewhat surprisingly the Belgian international has struggled to find any form for Los Blancos, making just 72 appearances and scoring only seven goals. He has now admitted he has struggled since the move.

WHAT HE SAID: Speaking to L'Equipe, Hazard said: "To be honest, this level of 2018, I no longer have it. I do not show it, but I suffered too much, mentally and physically. I'm not ashamed to say it.

"In 2018, I was maybe in the top 10 in the world. Am I going to come back to it? I don't think so. But if my body allows me, I can still do great things."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Hazard's career at Madrid has been hampered by injuries, and he says much of his downfall is down to a loss of confidence. "I kept the same technique but I lost confidence," he said. He also admitted that sometimes he enjoyed the off-season too much, adding: "When I arrived at Real, I had gained weight. Like every summer. After the Chelsea-Arsenal [Europa League] final, I took advantage of my leave. But after two or three weeks of preparation, I lose everything. Did I enjoy it too much? Surely."

IN TWO PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT FOR HAZARD? The winger has been selected in the Belgium squad for the upcoming World Cup and is hoping he and his team-mates can make a stir in Qatar. They start their tournament on November 23 against Canada, but expectations might have waned slightly after a 2-1 loss to Egypt on Friday.