FIFA World Cup: Stop Messi at any cost, Eden Hazard tells teammates
Belgium forward says they must keep Argentine star in check to fancy a win today
BrasIlia: 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.
Lionel Messi of Argentina dribbles the ball during a training session at Estadio Nacional in Brasilia yesterday. Pic/Getty Images and Eden Hazard
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.
'We have 50-50 chance'
"I think that we are two good teams," he told reporters. "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."
Eden's form, a concern
Hazard's own form has been the subject of much debate, with the Chelsea attacker having failed to find the net in Brazil. Hazard played a part as the Red Devils edged past the United States 2-1 after extra-time in Salvador on Tuesday.
"For me, individually, it was very good game (against the States)," he argued. "Creatively, I was good. But we all played well and I think we deserved to win."