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Real Madrid winger Eden Hazard has been slammed by an opponent for playing like “he didn’t care.”
The Belgian “didn’t want to take the ball” or “didn’t run” according to Cacereno winger Carmelo Merenciano, who came up against Hazard in the round of 32 of the Copa del Rey.
Real Madrid winger fails to impress against minnows
Real Madrid edged past the Spanish fourth division side 1-0 on Tuesday thanks to Rodrygo’s goal in the 69th minute. Ex-Chelsea man Hazard was handed a rare start for the cup match, but his fellow winger Merenciano was not impressed.
The Cacereno forward only played for the first 45 minutes of the game, but it was enough to witness his opposite number endure a tough time on the pitch, as reported by LiveScore.
Hazard was taken off by Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti in the 67th minute, with the Belgian failing to register a shot or a touch in the opposition penalty box on Tuesday evening.
“Hazard? It was like he didn’t care about the game,” said Merenciano. “He didn’t want to take the ball, he didn’t run. He was totally unnoticed.”
Ancelotti defends under-fire winger
Real Madrid are going strong in La Liga, with the Spanish side sitting joint top of the table alongside rivals Barcelona. Both clubs have won 12 of their 15 league matches, drawing two and losing one.
But the recent round of fixtures in the Copa del Rey was a different story for both clubs, who just about managed to get into the next round against lower-level opposition.
Barcelona needed extra time to defeat minnows Intercity, with the Catalan club winning 4-3 in a thrilling encounter on Wednesday.
Real Madrid meanwhile could only win 1-0 despite their strong starting XI. Ancelotti was, however, strong in his defence of his team, including the underperforming Hazard.
“You can’t play football [on Cacereno’s pitch],” said Ancelotti. “I liked [Hazard]. It’s difficult to evaluate players individually, it was impossible to play. Smaller players like Hazard or Rodrygo suffer more, but he delivered.”
Hazard Real Madrid future uncertain
Hazard’s future in the Spanish capital remains in severe doubt, with the Real Madrid winger handed just 296 minutes in all competitions this season. He has scored one goal and created one in that time.
The Real Madrid man has featured just three times in La Liga, with all three appearances coming at the very beginning of the campaign. Hazard has also made three Champions League appearances this season.
The attacker joined the La Liga giants from Chelsea in 2019 for a reported €100m fee, with his move coming after a hugely impressive spell in England.
The Belgian scored over 100 goals across more than 300 appearances for the Blues, having joined Chelsea from Lille in 2012.
Hazard has, however, nowhere near reached the heights he reached at Chelsea in Spain, scoring just seven goals from his 73 appearances for Los Blancos.
It’s been a difficult few months for the 31-year-old, who recently announced his retirement from international football after Belgium’s shock exit from the group stages of the 2022 World Cup.
The Red Devils beat Canada, but followed this with a loss to Morocco and a draw with Croatia.