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Hazard will not be a James Rodriguez case for Belgium

Hazard image

Roberto Martinez believes that Eden Hazard is as fit as he has been since March, although the Belgium coach has been quick to make clear that the star player won’t have a situation like that of James Rodriguez with Colombia. Ahead of the Copa America and European Championship in the summer, there has been cases of injured players being left out of squads, even if they were close to recovery.
Sergio Ramos and James are the two highest profile examples, but Martinez doesn’t believe anything similar will happen with Hazard, based on the fact the former Chelsea legend doesn’t need to be at 100 percent. Now this may seem as an odd statement to both Real Madrid fans and Zinedine Zidane, who both watched Hazard do very little in important matches whilst he wasn’t close to full fitness. “I am not worried about his match fitness because Eden is not the kind of player who needs to be 100 percent physically to put his talent at the disposal of the team,” Martinez explained in an interview with Le Soir newspaper.

“During this time, we’ve seen a sad and worried Eden who was no longer himself because his body was no longer responding. “Today, and since March, I see a medically strong body that will help Eden get back to being himself.” Whilst much of their golden generation of players are nearing the end of their careers, Belgium still retain a chance at glory this summer, although Martinez was also quick to dismiss the tag of ‘favourites’. “The format of this European Championship means there isn’t really one favourite,” he added. “We were seeded at the time of the draw, yet we will play Russia and Denmark both in front of their own fans.
“The format of this tournament is a celebration of the competition, but at the same time it has offered us a hostile environment.”