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'Hazard is fit, I just prefer other players' - Ancelotti explains Real Madrid winger's absence

The Belgium star was left on the bench on Sunday as his side ran out 2-1 winners in the Clasico against Barcelona

Carlo Ancelotti believes Eden Hazard can become a star at Real Madrid, but admits he prefers to put other players ahead of him in the starting XI.

Hazard, 30, was an unused substitute for Madrid as they beat Barcelona 2-1 on Sunday.

The Belgium international has started just four of the seven La Liga matches in which he has featured this season and played in just one of their three Champions League matches.

What has been said?

Ancelotti is aware that the former Chelsea star is fit enough to start for the Santiago Bernabeu outfit, but the coach simply prefers to pick others, such as Vinicius Junior, instead.

He told reporters on Tuesday: "He can play 4-3-3 on the left or 4-4-2 above or behind the striker. He is ready to play, but the problem is that there is a coach who prefers another player.

"He does not have a star status at Madrid because he has had many injuries and little by little he will have his best version.

"I am sure that this season we will see his best version and that he will play more than he is doing now.

"Hazard has it. Everything: quality, motivation. He has to endure, what happens is that sometimes the coach prefers other players "

What is Hazard's situation at Real Madrid like?

Hazard has struggled to get going at Madrid since his arrival from Chelsea in 2019.

The winger's stay in the Spanish capital has been plagued by injuries, which have limited him to just 51 games in all competitions in more than two years.

This season, he has managed just one assist in his eight appearances for Ancelotti's team.

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In August, Goal reported that Madrid wanted to sell Hazard in the summer transfer window to make room for their top target Kylian Mbappe.

But last month, he dismissed suggestions that he was unsettled at the club, insisting he is happy and determined to succeed in the Madrid jersey.

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