Belgium's Roberto Martinez Praises Eden Hazard and Says 'He's Not Fat'

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistOctober 10, 2019

MADRID, SPAIN - OCTOBER 05: Eden Hazard of FC Real Madrid gestures during the Liga match between Real Madrid CF and Granada CF at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on October 5, 2019 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)
TF-Images/Getty Images

Belgium manager Roberto Martinez has said Eden Hazard is "not fat" after accusations about the winger's fitness in his early days as a Real Madrid player.

Hazard has not enjoyed the best start to life at the Santiago Bernabeu, enduring an injury and taking six appearances to get off the mark in a Real shirt.

Ahead of Belgium's UEFA Euro 2020 fixtures against San Marino and Kazakhstan, though, Martinez has heaped praise on the former Chelsea star, per Marca:

"I'm happy to see Eden with the group. He's smiling. He's a world-class player, who is unique, talented. He is also very professional and, although he has already won trophies [in his career], he is reaching the highest point of his career. He takes great care of himself and, in my eyes, he's not fat."

Hazard, 28, joined Real back in July for £88.5 million.

Initial reports indicated he arrived for the club's pre-season tour seven kilograms overweight.

A hamstring injury then ruled him out of Real's first three La Liga games of the season, and when he returned, he initially made little impact. 

However, he finally got his first competitive goal for Los Blancos in their 4-2 win over Granada on Saturday, and he also registered his first La Liga assist:

Real manager Zinedine Zidane will hope that he can kick on from that match and make the kind of contribution for Real that he did for Chelsea last season:

Despite mixed performances, Real are top of La Liga after eight games of the new season.

If Hazard can find his best form, he will be a huge asset in Real's bid to win just their third title in 12 seasons.

At his best, the former Lille star can cause havoc in opposition defences, although Martinez recently said he can be effective "whether he's carrying weight or not."

Hazard was signed to fill the space left by Cristiano Ronaldo, and if he can even produce half the output the Portuguese did in his nine seasons in Madrid, Real will consider his hefty transfer fee money well spent.  

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