Belgium Unwilling To Repeat Last Year’s Mistakes

Eden Hazard will have a great 2021 season despite missing Belgium’s last match of the year due to COVID-19, according to Roberto Martinez.

Since completing the € 100 million transfer to Real Madrid in June 2019, Hazard has been repeatedly hit by injury problems when he was limited to 25 appearances.

He only contributed two goals and created four assists for Los Blancos despite his reputation in his last campaign at Chelsea which saw him record 16 goals and 15 assists in the English Premier League (EPL).

The muscle injury postponed his first appearance of the season until October 27 before he missed three games due to being infected with the pandemic.

Hazard was again tested positive last weekend which caused him to miss the Group A2 clash, the League of Nations (UNL) in Denmark, early tomorrow morning.

However, Martinez is confident the 29-year-old will return to his best and play an important role for Madrid and Belgium.

“Eden really wants to join us and be involved in the last three games of the year,” Martinez said.

“He went through a very difficult year. I am sure 2021 will be an extraordinary year for Eden Hazard and the national team.”

Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois added: “It’s a pity he missed out on this tournament but we still have enough quality to win without him.

“This team is more experienced, we know what needs to be improved. We have one of the best teams in the world.”

Martinez also lost Axel Witsel and Thomas Meunier to a meeting in Heverlee due to a suspension, where one point was enough for Belgium to advance to the UNL finals.

“We will not focus on players who do not exist. I am considering players who can stand out to seize the opportunity,” Martinez said.

“I have many ways to balance the absence of Wistel and Meunier. Among them are Thomas Foket, Thorgan Hazard and Nacer Chadli.

“Denmark is a very strong team but we want to go to the finals so we will do our best to win. We do not want a draw. We have to win for the fans and end the year well.”

Belgium missed the UNL semi-finals last year due to a 2-5 loss to Switzerland in the last group match.

Courtois insists they have learned from the mistake and realize they should not underestimate the ability of the host.

“We know their strengths and weaknesses. If they win, they are quality. We have to show intensity from the first minute to the last, be vigilant and focused. We will not win this match 4-0,” Courtois said.

“We were quite relaxed against Switzerland (last year). We learned from that match. We are ready for tomorrow night’s match.”

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