Real Madrid's Eden Hazard is not happy being on the bench and deserves to play but the Belgian cannot be guaranteed a place in the starting team, coach Carlo Ancelotti said on Friday.
Hazard, 30, has been a substitute for Real's last eight matches which has frustrated the ex-Chelsea forward, who joined the club for 120 million euros in June 2019.
“Hazard is not happy. He has talent and is training well, committed, and deserves to play," Ancelotti told a news conference ahead of Saturday's La Liga match with Rayo Vallecano.
Real is second in the table on 24 points, a point behind Real Sociedad but with a game in hand. Rayo is sixth with 20.
"He (Hazard) will have minutes but, as a starter, I’ll have to think about it. If he keeps the faith, he will have an opportunity. Can be tomorrow or it can’t. The important thing is that he is active and committed.
"I feel for him because it’s easy to leave a player that is unprofessional on the bench, but that is not the case,” he added.
Fellow forward Gareth Bale, who is back in training after two months out with a hamstring injury, won't be in the squad to face Rayo but the 32-year-old has been called up by Wales.
"Bale practised today but won’t play against Rayo. He will go with Wales and they will have to evaluate if he is ready or not to play. It depends on how the player feels.
"The important thing is that he's good. After two months it is important that the player is feeling good," Ancelotti added.
Bale is in line to earn his 100th cap after being called up by manager Robert Page for this month's World Cup qualifiers against Belarus and Belgium.
- Carabao Cup final, LIV vs CHE: Van Dijk nets extra-time winner as Liverpool beats Chelsea
- FIH Pro League 2023-24: India beats Ireland 4-0, ends Rourkela leg on a high
- WPL 2024: Gujarat Giants stumbles to five-wicket loss against Mumbai Indians in low-scoring encounter
- Gujarat Giants vs Mumbai Indians Highlights, WPL 2024: Harmanpreet Kaur seals five-wicket win with a six
- Ranji Trophy quarterfinal: Tamil Nadu eliminates defending champion Saurashtra to enter semis