Belgium look ready.
The players, led by Captain Eden Hazard, are saying the right things, with the right convictions, and the right attitudes.
The players, led by Captain Eden Hazard, are playing the right way, with the right intensity, and the right belief.
First time that I can remember that Hazard and De Bruyne played well together. With Wilmots, they often trod on each other’s toes. Martinez has them in different roles and maybe that’s the answer even if De Bruyne not allowed quite the freedom he has with City. @belcrc— John Chapman (@BelgoFoot) June 11, 2018
It’s not just Eden Hazard of course — he’ll be the first to tell you, for better or worse — and against Costa Rica, in the final warm-up match before the World Cup, the whole team seemed to be playing quite well. From Hazard to De Bruyne to Lukaku to all the substitutes, including Michy Batshuayi, it was an impressive 90 minutes from Roberto Martinez’s side. Sure, it was just a friendly, but it was a friendly against a fellow World Cup qualifier, and the Ticos looked distinctly worse. Sure, Belgium gifted a goal to their opponents, as any team under Bobby M are won’t to do. But they have the firepower to overcome it against lesser opposition, and perhaps against the big favorites as well.
On Monday, after Bryan Ruiz collected Jan Vertonghen’s poor clearance for the opener past Thibaut Courtois, Eden got the Belgian party started with a shot-cum-cross that Dries Mertens alertly finished off.
Lukaku then added one each on either side of half-time, before setting up Michy Batshuayi for Belgium’s fourth. Hazard with the secondary assist and the lifesteal on Tejeda with the nutmeg.
There had been some suggestions that Hazard would sit this one out after picking up a minor injury in the previous game, but he looked none of the worse. Hopefully, the same will be true again since he left the pitch with a limp with 20 minutes to go.
The World Cup starts on Thursday and Belgium’s first game is on Monday.
They look ready to do something great.