Stamford Bridge

Next Game

Chelsea v Leicester

Saturday, 23 August 2014, 15:00

Barclays Prem

Turf Moor

Last Game

Burnley 1 - 3 Chelsea

Monday, 18 August 2014, 20:00

Barclays Prem

Hazard told to be team player

Belgium coach Marc Wilmots wants Eden Hazard to 'release the handbrakes' and sparkle at the World Cup, but has also pointed out to the youngster that he needs to be a team player.

Last Updated: 17/06/14 at 11:15 Post Comment

Eden Hazard: Set to make his World Cup bow against Algeria

Eden Hazard: Set to make his World Cup bow against Algeria

Hazard’s ability is without question, with the Chelsea playmaker billed as ‘the best young player in the world’ by club boss Jose Mourinho in February.

He is about to be offered the perfect stage on which to justify that show of faith, with his World Cup bow set to be made against Algeria on Tuesday.

Belgium will be looking to the 23-year-old for moments of inspiration, but Wilmots is eager to ensure that Hazard does not get caught up in the hype and contributes positively as part of a star-studded unit considered by many to be dark horses for global glory in Brazil.

He said ahead of an opening Group H clash: “Eden can be one of the best five players in the world.

“He has everything he needs, it’s now up to him to release the handbrakes and go.

“He’s 23 and has already shown what he can do. But he won’t be able to do it alone. Everyone, including him, has to sacrifice himself for the collective.

“I have replaced ‘I, I, I’ with ‘we, we, we’.”

Wilmots is aware of the potential he has at his disposal heading into Belgium’s first World Cup appearance since 2002, but is reluctant to use the ‘Golden Generation’ tag being bandied around by others.

He added: “I’ll only accept the term when we achieve something.

“We haven’t even made the first step yet. But we are a nation of just 11 million and I’ll have no regrets if it doesn’t work out.”

Belgium are quietly confident, though, that things will work out, with national skipper Vincent Kompany of the opinion that a settled squad can go ‘a long way’.

The Manchester City defender said: “This is the first World Cup for most of us, but I’ve been with this group for 10 years and we all get on really well. We haven’t been to a World Cup for a long time and whatever happens I’ll remember it forever.

“For all of us in the Premier League, there have been no difficulties making the transition.

“We’ve known each other all the way up from youth level.

“No conclusions should be drawn from the first game, but I have high ambitions and really want to fulfil my dream of going a long way.”

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

O

K FIFA we're done, you can ban us now

jimmyjazz
Barcelona transfer ban upheld

A

h Daniel. I could spend hours on this subject putting the world to rights. You can even take a step back and ask why football fans (and society in general) have this need to know that something will happen before it actually does. There are times this important, when it comes to things like war, food production and natural disasters. A man you've never met changing his job? Not so much.

ajsr1982
Time To Burst The ITK Bubble

G

reat article. Hits the nail on the head. Encapsulates why I don't read tabloid newspapers anymore. The only thing worse is the 'told you so first' headline when they get lucky.

ianonabeach
Time To Burst The ITK Bubble

Footer 365

Premier League: Edin Dzeko signs new four-year Manchester City deal

Edin Dzeko has signed a new four-year contract with Manchester City.

Champions League: Callum McGregor on target in Celtic draw

Celtic claimed a 1-1 draw with Maribor in Slovenia in the first leg of their Champions League play-off clash.

Transfer news: Juventus insist there is no truth in Arturo Vidal to Manchester United talk

Juventus director general Giuseppe Marotta insists there's no substance to the talk linking Arturo Vidal to Man United.

Mail Box

So Long And Good Luck To Nani

A Mailbox that offers best wishes to a departing hero, defends Olivier Giroud, tells us to steady on over Calum Chambers and makes some amusing predictions...

Mailbox: Feeling Sorry For Poor TC23

If there's one loser in all the machinations at Man United, it's poor TC23. We have mercifully few mails on United, but lots on Arsenal and in particular Olivier Giroud...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property