Eden Hazard bust-up: Chelsea boss Antonio Conte furious at Belgium selection

The playmaker fractured his right ankle in June while with them on international duty and had not played a competitive game since when news of his selection emerged.

Belgium face Gibraltar and Greece in a World Cup qualifier double-header but Hazard’s inclusion after a single game behind closed doors has not gone down well at Stamford Bridge.

“I knew the news just 20 minutes ago,” said Antonio Conte. “For sure, I’m a bit surprised about this decision.

“Eden Hazard is an important player for us. If someone thinks they can accelerate the process… I think it’s not the right way.

“It’s a great mistake. At this moment, we must pay great attention towards not making mistakes.”

Conte revealed that Martinez had not spoken to him before announcing his inclusion in the squad – a selection that even raised eyebrows in Belgium.

Certainly Conte’s mood suggested it was another unwelcome disruption to a difficult start to the season as he prepared for the visit of Everton.

The Chelsea manager had planned to use the international break to get Hazard back to full fitness within the club, starting with the Under-23s game against the Toffees at Aldershot.

“Hazard is improving and, in the afternoon today, he’s playing with the U23s against Everton,” said Conte said at his lunchtime press conference. “But he’s not fully fit.

“If Hazard is ready, why doesn’t he play with us? Why is he playing with the U23s to continue to try and improve his form?

“I see him every day, I see him every day and I repeat: in this situation, it’s very important to give the right time to players to recover very well.”

Source: Daily Express