Spanish newspapers hard for invisible Eden Hazard against fourth division team: “A lost cause”

With a difficult 0-1 win against fourth division Cacereño, Real Madrid has qualified for the 1/8th finals of the Copa del Rey, the Spanish Cup. Eden Hazard once again got his chance in the base team, but could not manifest himself on a bad field. “He started again with a white sheet, but left the field like a lost cause,” wrote the Spanish sports newspaper AS about his performance. Trainer Carlo Ancelotti, the first to complain about the pitch, was kind to our compatriot. “It is difficult for small players to play football here.”

It was one of those matches that is no fun for Real Madrid players. A weeknight in the winter, visiting a fourth division team, in the cup, on a field where you feel more comfortable in boots than in football boots. It was therefore not easy for Real: it remained 0-0 for a long time and Cacereño also had opportunities to 1-0.

No gift for Eden Hazard to play in the favor of trainer Carlo Ancelotti there. But the reality is that Hazard has to make do with that. The last time he was in the starting line-up was in the Champions League, on October 11, 2022 (1-1 away at Shakhtar Donetsk). Our compatriot let straw slip through his hands on the potato field of Cacereño. The Spanish sports papers talked about an invisible Hazard.

“Hazard disappointed yet again,” wrote Sport. “He was totally invisible in a match where he didn’t make one shot. They say some trains only pass once in a lifetime, but for Hazard he passes every year at Real Madrid for four years now. And every time he lets him pass. He came as one of the best players in Europe and the revelation of the 2018 World Cup, but he exhausted the fans’ patience with disappointing performances, the cup match against Cacereño being another one. Hazard was given a chance to show something after saying in an interview that this would be his year. He did not attempt one goal, not one dribble, did not make a single cross, but lost the ball five times and won only one game. Opposite was one key pass. Disappointing. Ancelotto decided to pull him aside and give young Álvaro Rodríguez a chance. Immediately afterwards, Rodrygo scored.”

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Camping Hazard

“Hazard again started with a blank sheet, but left the field as a lost cause,” AS wrote. “He camped on the left and center front. It remains an inexplicable matter that Hazard, meanwhile four years ago, changed from Galáctico to an invisible one in a few months. Is it the powers or the desire that let him down? Who’s to say? Ancelotti always protects him at his press conferences and tries to encourage him, but keeps him out of the team.”

Again, the Italian coach was outwardly positive about our compatriot, who was substituted in the 68th minute, one minute before Rodrygo scored after a nice dribble.

“I am satisfied with what Eden has shown. It is difficult to judge players individually. It was a match we are not used to. Especially the smaller players like Hazard and Rodrygo suffer the most, but Hazard did what he had to,” said Ancelotto.

The other small player, the Brazilian Rodrygo, decided the match.

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The Real coach was not pleased with the state of the field. “You can’t play football on that. For me this is a different sport. It’s nice that small teams can compete with big clubs. That is good for the fans, but the fans also want to see good football.”

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