Why Real Madrid have made the right decision with Eden Hazard vs. Liverpool

Real Madrid, Eden Hazard (Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Eden Hazard (Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images) /

Real Madrid are getting ready for the first leg of the Champions League quarterfinals against Liverpool this Tuesday night, and one of the big questions has been the potential impact of Eden Hazard. He’s been practicing with his teammates and seems to be close to a full return. So there were rumblings that he could come off the bench against the Reds before potentially starting over the weekend in El Clasico.

Madridistas did not react to that news with 100% happiness, though. Yes, obviously the fanbase was happy to hear word that Hazard is recovering well from his latest injury and could be ready to play soon. The true fans are fully behind Hazard.

However, they were rightfully concerned about the club rushing Hazard back too soon from his latest injury. How many times have we seen Hazard return from a muscular injury only to go out injured for weeks or a month immediately afterward? It is has happened several times since the summer of 2019 when Hazard was purchased, and Real know they must break the cycle.

Therefore, Madridistas did not want to see Hazard in the squad, on the pitch, or available in any capacity against Liverpool. El Clasico might be stretching it, but if he is 100 percent cleared by doctors, then he is 100 percent.

Eden Hazard is not in the squad for Real Madrid vs. Liverpool

But as fans suspected, Eden Hazard is not quite 100 percent. He has not been listed in Real Madrid’s official 21-man squad for the first leg at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano. COPE’s Miguel Angel Diaz reported that physicians recommended against Hazard playing, and Real have wisely listened to the recommendations of the actual experts in the building.

Per a report from MARCA’s Pablo Polo, Madrid prefer to take the cautious approach with Hazard. Zidane reportedly wants Hazard to be fully recovered, keeping the second leg in mind.

Real Madrid are 100 percent making the right choice here. Even though Hazard was never in the conversation to start, even considering him off the bench would have been a risk not worth taking. He is only weeks removed from the re-injury against Elche, which was supposed to be a tune-up match for him before a Champions League match against Atalanta.

At this point, Real need to be even more cautious than they think with Hazard. Any risk is a risk not worth taking with a player who has been consistently injured for the last year-and-a-half. Hazard has a lot to give to this team, but he cannot physically or mentally give anything to Real Madrid if he is having to deal with injuries non-stop.

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So Real have made the right – and really, the only, as far as the medical opinion is concerned – choice with Hazard against Liverpool. Leave him out of the squad. And if I were Real, I would think twice about having him on the bench against Barcelona this weekend. It may be a must-win game in the title race, but, well, every game is must-win. And I’d rather have Hazard available for the rest of the “finals” rather than just one “bigger” final.