Zinedine Zidane admits Real Madrid is struggling

Madrid, March 15 (AFP/APP): Zinedine Zidane admitted Real Madrid are struggling to explain Eden Hazard’s fitness problems after the club confirmed the Belgian is injured again ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League game against Atalanta.

Hazard came off the bench against Elche in La Liga on Saturday to make his first appearance since January but Zidane said in a press conference on Monday the Belgian is out again, with what the club confirmed was a “muscle injury in the right pelvis”. Zidane said there are “things I cannot explain” regarding Hazard’s fitness issues and when asked about the club’s long list of injuries, he pointed to various factors including “things up here in the head, which influences a lot”.

Hazard has played only 14 times this season for Real Madrid, continuing a nightmare period for the 30-year-old forward, who joined from Chelsea for 100 million euros in the summer of 2019. “He is not going to be fit,” said Zidane. “There are things I cannot explain. Like always I try to stay positive and hope it will be a little thing. Something is happening. He is a player who was never injured in his career. We want to help him.” Zidane grew frustrated with the number of questions about Hazard and dismissed suggestions of a problem with the club’s medical department, despite the number of Madrid injuries this season.

“I don’t think there is a problem, we have very competent people here, who are close to the players every day,” he said. “We are trying to find out what is happening with the injured players, there are things that happen in football. We have spoken about the pre-season, about the number of games, and things up here in the head as well, which influences a lot.”

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