It’s a golden age for Belgian football, and thus the time for greatness is right now, says Eden Hazard as we count the days down to the World Cup, which starts on Thursday. Belgium’s first game will not be until next Monday, but Captain Eden has already made his expectations very clear for the tournament.
“I think that we are all in top shape. Kevin at Manchester City, Romelu at Manchester United, me at Chelsea, Thibaut at Chelsea. We all play in great clubs, we all had good seasons. So if we want to do something great, it is now.
”The time isn’t in one, two or four years. I think now is the moment to be together and do something great.”
Hazard stopped short of actually saying “win the World Cup” as he addressed the media ahead of tonight’s friendly against Costa Rica, but it’s pretty clear that’s what he means.
There can only be one winner of course, and Belgium will be hardly alone in trying to win it. But as one of the highest ranked national teams in the world and sporting the level of talent few others can match, Belgium should be considered one of the legitimate favorites for World Cup 2018. In previous tournaments they may have been more of an underdog, more of a dark horse candidate, but they are one of the heavyweights now.
In part, that’s due to Hazard, who can single-handedly win games when he feels like it, but it’s also due to the rest of the team that features world class talent at almost every position.
“There is no ‘Eden Hazard dependence’. We have 23 players who can play.
“Obviously, I am in good shape. I can score and be decisive in the group. There is always a player who is more in the spotlight than the others. It’s normal. But I think every player can find the solution in games. I could play badly in one game and someone else could score or do the right things.
“Everyone is working for everybody. Everybody is crucial.”
-Eden Hazard; source: Mail
Hazard’s generally carefree attitude often projects an aura of weak mentality and poor ambition, but he’s turning into a vocal leader these days, at least in press conferences, calling on both Chelsea and Belgium to live up to expectations.
Can they do it? Can we do it? Hazard will have a strong say in either ... but he won’t be able to do it alone.