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Real Madrid: Ancelotti explains his ‘fair’ treatment of Eden Hazard

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The Belgian star has been struggling to get enough game time at Santiago Bernabeu this season.

Since his blockbuster move from Chelsea in 2019, Eden Hazard’s time at Real Madrid has been marked with periods of struggling for form and fitness. The 31-year-old has failed to get remotely close to his Chelsea heights, and the current campaign has not been an exception.

Since the appointment of Carlo Ancelotti in the summer, Hazard has made only eight starts this season. The Italian manager prefers to use him on the left flank, where Vinicius Junior has established himself as an undisputed starter this season.

Ancelotti admits the lack of game time affects players but insists it comes from his squad’s exceptional quality.

Speaking in a press conference ahead of Real Madrid’s upcoming game against Elche, the Blancos boss said (via Marca): “Nothing has happened [with Hazard],

“The only [thing is] that there is competition in the team and I have to choose the best [players] in each game. This affects many players, I can’t deny it. Nothing has happened, [Hazard] is training and waiting for the coach’s call. I think he will be ready when he plays.

He added: “At the moment he is still a Real Madrid player. He is training and he is focused. We have nothing else to think about.

“Nothing strange has happened [with Bale and Hazard]. It’s just that there is competition. And the coach, which is me, who has to choose the best [line-up] for each game.

“I try to be fair and choose the best. Sometimes you are very good and you don’t play. I’m also talking about Nacho [Fernandez], Marcelo, [Dani] Ceballos, Isco, [Luka] Jovic…”

Asked about Hazard’s potential departure this January, Ancelotti responded: “At the moment he is still a Madrid player, he is training, focused… We have nothing else to think about.”

Real Madrid will face Elche in a Copa del Rey game on Thursday. The two sides will meet again in La Liga three days later.