Mourinho brings Hazard back into the fold
Chelsea midfielder had been dropped for disciplinary reasons
Eden Hazard is back in the Chelsea squad. Photograph: Mark Runnacles/Getty Images
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has confirmed Eden Hazard was dropped for the Champions League clash with Schalke after losing his passport following an unsanctioned trip to France, but has said the incident is now closed.
Hazard, 22, traveled to watch former club Lille on Sunday but had complications in getting back in time for training on Monday, with the missed session causing him to be left out of Mourinho’s squad in midweek.
The Portuguese was not happy that Hazard had been absent from training but now insists the club will move on.
“He went to a foreign country when he shouldn’t have,” Mourinho said.
“On top of that he lost his passport which didn’t allow him to be back in training, which is obviously unacceptable.
“It is over. No more consequences, the consequence was not to play which is the worst thing that can happen to a player. Case over, he is a very good kid and there are no problems.
“It was not a big story. Every player knows me and knows my reaction, the group is always more important than any player.”
Mourinho also admitted the decision to leave the Belgium international in the stands could have come back to haunt him as Chelsea looked to move towards the knockout phase of the Champions League.
The Blues ended up winning 3-0 without Hazard and Mourinho confirmed he will be available for selection for the Barclays Premier League fixture against West Brom on Saturday.
“I think he [Hazard] reacted well because he apologised to me and to the club,” he said.
“Of course the apology was not accepted because it is something I couldn’t accept but it is over so now it is something that doesn’t exist any more.
“He is selected and ready to play and I believe he has the appetite to play because he loves playing and I didn’t allow him to play the last game.
“It was a bit of a risk to not play him, speaking in terms of pure football, because he is a player who could have helped us win an important match.
“You have to take some risks when you feel the consequences for the group are very important and i think it was an important decision.”