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Eden Hazard makes admission about Belgium compared to 2018 squad

Eden Hazard believes Belgium’s 2022 World Cup squad is ‘weaker’ than the one that finished third in 2018, but also claims this year’s squad has better young prospects.

The 31-year-old, who has made 123 appearances for his country since making his debut in 2008, will take part in his third World Cup this winter.

Hazard was part of Belgium’s ‘Golden Generation’ of the 2010s, featuring talent such as Kevin De Bruyne, Jan Vertonghen, Toby Alderweireld and Mousa Dembele.

Most of the key players from this generation are getting older, however, leading many to suggest that the Red Devils will not be as successful as they were in Russia four years ago.

“It’s no secret. We are weaker than in 2018, but we have better youth than in Russia,” Hazard told L’Equipe.

“Anything can happen. The quality is there. Often in big matches, this quality can make the difference.” 

He added: “Real was not the only favourites in the Champions League, but Karim (Benzema) scored the important goals and Thibaut (Courtois) stopped everything. It was the dream year.

“For Belgium, we have Kevin (De Bruyne) who is in the top 3 in the world. The best goalkeeper in the world. I’ve played with him for ten years and I’ve always said the same thing about him. 

“We have fantastic players, but it’s a little more complicated collectively. If Romelu plays, we are almost sure to score and we have an excellent medical and technical staff.”

Hazard’s comments may well come as a shock to both Belgium supporters and manager Roberto Martinez, who takes charge of the side for his third international tournament.

They kick off their World Cup against Canada in Group F on Wednesday.

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