Thursday, June 13News That Matters

Eden Hazard makes surprise Leandro Trossard claim amid Ronaldo comparison

Eden Hazard concedes even he questioned why he started for Belgium at the World Cup in Qatar ahead of Arsenal’s Leandro Trossard.

Hazard announced his retirement from international football after Belgium’s disappointing campaign at the World Cup.

Despite his lack of playing time for Real Madrid, Hazard started Belgium’s first two group matches at the World Cup as his team scraped a 1-0 win over Canada before losing to Morocco.

He was dropped for Belgium’s last game in Group F – a goalless draw against Croatia which sealed their elimination – while Trossard was given his first start of the tournament.

Trossard has been in superb form for Brighton before Belgium’s World Cup campaign, scoring seven goals before the Premier League break, and Hazard says the 28-year-old should have received more playing time in Qatar.

Asked if he felt hurt by people claiming his time with Belgium’s was coming to an end in the World Cup, Hazard told RTBF: ‘Not at all.

‘We were talking about the name of Leandro Trossard to replace me, he was having a good season. ‘Even I wondered why I had to play when he had to go on the bench. It’s normal for people to think that.

‘Especially after the game against Egypt, where we don’t play a good game, where I don’t play a good game.

‘Cristiano Ronaldo did not play the last matches of the World Cup with Portugal, and yet it is Cristiano with Portugal, it is even more than Eden with Belgium.

‘It is football, there are young people who grow, who want to take the place. When I started at the age of 16 with Lille, I took the place of Michel Bastos or someone else. Players who were there, in place. It’s normal, it’s football.’

Hazard also revealed why he stepped away from Belgium’s national side after the World Cup.

‘There are several factors. I started thinking about it after the Euros,’ Hazard said.

‘At the time, I had worked a lot, I got injured, I couldn’t play against Italy. It really hurt my morale. There are a lot of things.

‘I’m here in Madrid with Toni Kroos who left the German national team two years ago and who tells me that when the other players are in the national team, he can enjoy with his children.

‘And then, the coach left, we had a very good relationship. There are also young people who are growing. I couldn’t see myself not playing for Real Madrid and then arriving in the national team and playing, when young people deserve to play for the Devils.’


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