MOGI DAS CRUZES, Brazil – Belgium playmaker Eden Hazard insisted he will improve as the World Cup advances.
Hazard set up Divock Origi's late winning goal for the Red Devils against Russia on Sunday, a result that qualified Belgium for the knock-out stages.
Even so, the Chelsea star, 23, has not been pleased with his own performances in the Group H matches.
“I haven't played well yet at this World Cup but I've made a difference and that's what the coach has asked of me,” Hazard told a team press conference in Mogi das Cruzes.
“I understand that people expect a lot of me and I know I can do better.”
Hazard also created the winning goal for Dries Mertens in Belgium's 2-1 defeat of Algeria in their opening match.
“Making a difference twice at the end of a match shows that I'm fresh and that I feel good physically,” added Hazard.
“But I hope the fans will see a better Eden Hazard than in the previous two games.”
Hazard gave himself an 11 out of 20 for his performance against Russia: “Two out of 10 for the first 80 minutes and nine out of 10
for the end,” he stipulated.
Meanwhile, centre-back Thomas Vermaelen could be fit again within a week, coach Marc Wilmots said.
“The scan showed Thomas Vermaelen has a hamstring strain. He's already started rehabilitation with the medical staff,” said Wilmots.
“It's a strain. In six or seven days he'll be fit again and able to join the group.
“If that's the case I'll definitely use him again in this World Cup.”
The Arsenal centre-back came off after just half an hour against Russia and will miss Belgium's final group match against South Korea in Sao Paulo on Thursday. –Sapa-AFP