Zidane opens up on Hazard

15 January 2021 21:29:52 GMTPlus11

Zinedine Zidane feels Eden Hazard is lacking confidence after he put in another poor display as Real Madrid were dumped out of the Spanish Super Cup in a 2-1 defeat to Athletic Bilbao on Thursday.

Real agreed a deal to sign Belgian attacker Hazard from Chelsea for a fee expected to rise to £150m - a club record amount - in the summer of 2019, but he has struggled to live up to that reputation in Madrid.

We know what a great player he is and we need to be patient with him as he is working hard.

Zinedine Zidane

Hazard scored 110 goals in 352 games for the Blues after joining from Lille in 2012 but injuries have restricted him to just 32 appearances for the Spanish giants.

The 30-year-old has scored just three goals in a Real Madrid shirt and the home defeat to Athletic Bilbao saw his goal-drought extended to five games.

Speaking in his post-match press conference, Zidane said: "He needs to recover confidence, play a great game or score a goal, just to do something different.

"We know what a great player he is and we need to be patient with him as he is working hard."

Zidane added: "We are behind him and we must give him time. The fans want to see the best version of Eden so we must be patient. We're sticking with him and he really wants to step up."

Real won last year's Super Cup but a brace from Bilbao's Raul Garcia left Zidane's men with too much work to do and Karim Benzema's late strike was nothing but a consolation.

Real also find themselves four points behind Madrid rivals Atletico, who have played two fewer matches, in La Liga.

Los Blancos travel to Segunda Division outfit Alcoyano in the Copa del Rey on Wednesday before facing a La Liga trip to Alaves next Saturday.

Real are 5.50 to be crowned La Liga champions, while Atletico are available at 1.53.

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