EDEN HAZARD’S head dropped after he returned from the World Cup to sit on the Real Madrid bench, keeper Thibaut Courtois has revealed.
Thibaut Courtois, left, has spoken about team-mate Eden Hazard’s strugglesGetty
He has now retired from international competition and had hoped to revive his Real Madrid career as he prepares to enter the final year of his contract.
Hazard has contributed just seven goals and 11 assists during his four seasons in the Spanish capital.
But any ideas he had of forcing his way back into Carlo Ancelotti‘s team have been dashed in recent months.
The ex-Chelsea man even failed to secure any game time in the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie with Liverpool when they had wrapped it up 6-2 on aggregate.
Ancelotti made five changes towards the end of the game, but Hazard was not one of them.
And Courtois has confirmed the lack of opportunities has had an impact on his former Belgian team-mate’s mental state.
As reported by Marca, he said: “When Hazard returned from the World Cup, he trained very well and was waiting for an opportunity because the Brazilians were not there.
“The opportunity did not come and he lowered his head a bit. He has never disrespected anyone.”
Real Madrid are expected to try and sell Hazard in the summer in a bid to avoid him leaving on a free in 2024.
Earlier this week, he revealed he wants to stay at the Bernabeu despite no longer speaking to Ancelotti.
Talking to Diario AS, he said: “I would like to stay. I’ve always said that. I hope to play and to show that I can still do it.
“People have doubts, that’s normal, I understand. But for me, I’m still here next year. You never know, but a transfer is not in my plan.
“There’s respect between Ancelotti and I. But I’m not going to say we talk to each other, because we don’t. But there will always be respect.
“I have to have respect a guy like Ancelotti. For what he represents for football, and for what he’s done in his career.”
However, Ancelotti attempted to quash talk of a fractured relationship with Hazard before their second leg against Liverpool.
He said: “The relationship is not cold. He has been very honest, we don’t talk much and it’s the truth.
“Many times it’s a matter of character, you feel better talking to one person than to another.
“This is not the most important thing, for me it’s that even though we don’t talk much and he doesn’t play, he respects me. I value this a lot and I respect him in the same way.
“If he doesn’t play a lot it’s because there’s a lot of competition. In his position there’s a player who is contributing a lot and it’s Vinicius.”
Premier League leaders Arsenal were linked with a move for Hazard in January.