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Thursday, Sep 19, 2019

Eden Hazard’s Real Madrid La Liga debut date revealed by Zinedine Zidane

Hazard was expected to make his debut in Vigo in the opening round in mid-August after joining Madrid for an initial 100 million euros from Chelsea in June.

football Updated: Sep 13, 2019 16:46 IST
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
Madrid
Eden Hazard against Bayern Munich in the International Champions Cup.
Eden Hazard against Bayern Munich in the International Champions Cup. (USA TODAY Sports)
         

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said Friday that big-money summer signing Eden Hazard has been passed fit and will make his long-awaited La Liga debut against Levante on Saturday. “We all want to see Eden,” said Zidane. “There’s a lot of pressure on him, a lot of expectation. But he is ready and that is the most important thing.”

Hazard was expected to make his debut in Vigo in the opening round in mid-August after joining Madrid for an initial 100 million euros from Chelsea in June.

But the Belgian pulled up with a thigh strain at the club’s training base in Valdebebas and had to sit out the first three weeks of the season during which Real struggled, collecting one win and two draws.

Zidane, however, called for patience as Hazard finds his feet again.

“We have to go gently,” he said. “He (Hazard) was injured for three weeks, he has been back for a week.

“We have seven games in 21 days and we will have to go gently. It will be up to me to keep an eye on his minutes and his playing time, because we need him over a long period, for several matches, not for one.”

READ | Modric thigh problem adds to Real Madrid injury crisis

Hazard’s return is timely for Madrid who also start their Champions League campaign against Paris Saint-Germain next week, especially as Luka Modric was druled out this week with a groin strain.

“The season starts now,” said Zidane. “We have seven games in 21 days and I think that’s what we need, anyway, to play, make matches, compete... that’s what players want.”

The Frenchman also shrugged off criticism of the team following their indifferent start to the season.

“The comments, everything that is said, that’s not going to change,” he said.

“We know what we want to change within (the team), we will do everything to do things well. Enough talk, we have perform on the pitch.”

First Published: Sep 13, 2019 16:41 IST