Soccer-Hazard hopes to be ready for Euros, but not sure of fitness

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BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Eden Hazard hopes to be ready to play for Belgium in their opening game of the European Championship but is still unsure whether he will be fit in time, the forward told a news conference on Monday.

The Belgium captain said he was mentally ready but physically still unsure after a season filled with injury.

"It has been a complicated year but I hope to be ready for the first game. I have to take it day by day and see how it goes with the medical staff," he said.

"I missed the last games of the season at Real Madrid, so I have had time to rest and so we’ll see how it goes."

Hazard featured sparingly for Real Madrid this season because of an ongoing ankle problem and won the last of 106 caps for Belgium since November 2019.

"We will see at training over the next days before the Euros. We have some time before our first match and I want to ready for that one," he added.

Belgium, top of the FIFA rankings, kick off their campaign away against Russia in St Petersburg on June 12.

Hazard also said he expected to stay at Real Madrid next season, even after the departure of coach Zinedine Zidane and in the wake of media speculation over his future at the club.

"I don’t see myself leaving, I still have three more years left in my contract, we know that my first year was bad because of the injury," he said.

"I know myself and that if I'm ready to play and fully fit, I can do great things for the club. After the Euros, my plan is to do everything for this club."

(Writing by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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