He didn’t mean to offend: Zidane defends Hazard

Zidane and Hazard

Zinedine Zidane said Eden
Hazard had apologised to him, the players and the club for laughing with
Chelsea players after Real Madrid’s Champions League exit earlier this week.

Hazard joked with Chelsea’s Kurt Zouma and Edouard Mendy
after the full-time whistle on Wednesday at Stamford Bridge, where Madrid had
lost 2-0, and 3-1 on aggregate, to go out in the semi-finals.

It prompted an angry reaction from sections of the media in
Spain, with Madrid newspaper Marca claiming Hazard’s “popularity is now at
rock bottom”.

The Belgium attacker issued a public apology to Madrid fans
on Thursday and Zidane said in a press conference that Hazard also said sorry
to his teammates.

“Eden has apologised and he did it well, it was not his
intention to hurt anyone, that is the most important thing,” Zidane said
on Saturday, ahead of Real Madrid’s crucial La Liga game against Sevilla on

“He knows what he has to do on the pitch and he’s going to do it. We spoke the other day, after the match, but to say that. He was apologising for his reaction – to me, to the club, to the players – and that’s it.”

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Hazard has endured an injury-ravaged two years in Spain
since joining from Chelsea in 2019.

Zidane would not address speculation that Madrid will listen
to offers for him this summer but disagreed the 30-year-old is not committed to
the club.

“All the players have their hearts in the club but for
now it hasn’t been possible to see the Eden Hazard we want to see,” Zidane

“But I believe he is going to get there. It’s a
difficult moment with everything that’s happened but he has a contract and what
he wants is to succeed here.”

Sergio Ramos’ future is also uncertain, with another injury
ruling the defender out of the game against Sevilla and raising the possibility
he has played his last game for Madrid.

Ramos, whose contract expires this summer, has sustained a
hamstring injury after making his first appearance in just over a month against

“It wasn’t hasty, the other day he played because he was 100 per cent,” said Zidane. “He trained perfectly but after the 90 minutes, he felt something. He is gutted because he can’t be with the team for this final stretch of the season.”

Author: desi123

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