Zinedine Zidane was asked in his pre-match press conference about Eden Hazard’s mental state and it was a good question, because the Belgian has suffered setback after setback since arriving at Real Madrid.
Following an injury plagued first season and another injury to start 2020/21, he’d just returned to feature in Los Blancos’ last three matches. But then, on Saturday morning, it was announced that he has tested positive for COVID-19 and that he’ll now be out for this weekend’s match away at Valencia.
“He is strong and knows that this is a tricky moment, but he is good mentally,” the coach said when speaking about Hazard.
It can’t be easy, though. It has been a tough year, even since a challenge from Thomas Meunier injured his ankle in a Real Madrid vs PSG match on November 26 of 2019. When he returned in February, he quickly suffered a fresh ankle injury and had to go for surgery in Dallas.
The coronavirus pandemic then hit Spain and actually allowed Hazard time to recover and to finish the 2019/20 season. Or so it seemed. In reality, Hazard hardly played down the stretch as he was never 100 percent fit, only featuring in six of the post-lockdown LaLiga Santander matches and never completing the 90 minutes.
He did play 83 minutes of the Champions League last 16 second leg away at Manchester City, but didn’t have his best game and returned for the new season keen to live up to his price tag.
However, a fresh injury setback ruled him out of the first seven matchdays of the new LaLiga Santander season.
Upon his return, he scored a brilliant goal against Huesca last weekend and things were finally looking up.
“I had a little problem last year and at the beginning of the season, so I hope now the problems are behind me and I can look to the future,” he said after the Huesca win.
Unfortunately, though, the problems weren’t all behind him. Hazard may not be injured right now, but he has now tested positive for COVID-19 and won’t be available for the Matchday 9 clash with Valencia.
The international break follows and he’ll hope to be back for the Matchday 10 game against Villarreal on November 21. His bad luck must surely turn at some point.