Soccer News of Thu, 3 Jul 20140
Hazard: Belgium must stop Messi to beat Argentina
Eden Hazard insists Belgium can beat Argentina in Brasilia this weekend but freely admits that their hopes hinge upon coming up with a way to nullify "the best player in the world" Lionel Messi.
The four-time Ballon d'Or winner has been in sensational form at World Cup 2014, carrying his country through the group stage with four goals in three games before teeing up Angel Di Maria for a 118th-minute winner in Tuesday's last-16 triumph over Switzerland.
Hazard confesses that he is not yet sure what Belgium are going to do to curb Messi's attacking threat, but he is adamant that Marc Wilmots' men have every chance of defeating the Albiceleste.
"I think that we are two good teams," he told reporters in Salvador after his side's 2-1 win over United States.
"I don't know how it will go but, for me, it's 50-50. They have Messi, [Gonzalo] Higuain and [Ezequiel] Lavezzi. But we have a lot of great defenders.
"We know that the best player in the world is in their team. [Their overall form] is good, but they have one very big player and he makes the difference in every game. If we can stop Messi, it'll be easier.
"I don't know how we can stop him. We won't be afraid, though.
"We'll watch some videos and just try to win because it's a big game for this generation of players. It's maybe the biggest game of my life.
"And I hope to continue this World Cup. We can make history."
Hazard's own form has been the subject of much debate, with the Chelsea attacker having failed to find the net in Brazil.
However, the 23-year-old was happy with his performance in the extra-time victory over USA at Arena Fonte Nova and insists that he is not feeling under any pressure to prove himself on the game's grandest stage.
"For me, individually, it was very good tonight [against the States]," he argued. "Creatively, I was good.
"But we all played well and I think we deserved to win.
"And I think the whole team is calm. We don't feel pressure and we play like we do in training. And this is why we're in the quarter-finals."