ZINEDINE ZIDANE is not sure if Eden Hazard will be fit to play for Real Madrid again this season.
The former Chelsea star is facing another lay-off after fracturing an ankle in Real’s surprise defeat to Levante in La Liga last weekend.
It was only the Belgian’s second appearance since November after recovering from another injury to the same ankle.
The loss of the 29-year-old is a big blow to Zidane at the start of a crucial week. Real host Manchester City tonight in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie before facing arch-rivals Barcelona, who leapfrogged them into top spot in La Liga last weekend, on Sunday.
Zidane (pictured above with Hazard) said: ‘It’s important he stays positive but, of course, it’s difficult. I do not know if he will have to go through an operation. It is not my area and I don’t know if his season is over. I hope not.’
Tonight’s tie brings Zidane up against Pep Guardiola but despite having won three Champions League titles to his rival’s two, the Real boss feels the Spaniard is a better coach.
He said: ‘He has shown that over the years, at Barca, Bayern (Munich) and now City. That’s my opinion. Some people can think other coaches are better but for me, he is the best.’
They said it
‘It’s bad news for the players that want to keep playing in the competition but also it’s a good way for them to have motivation and to want to show what they’re capable of’ — Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos says the Champions League ban hanging over Manchester City for Financial Fair Play breaches could act as extra motivation for their players to conquer Europe