Eden Hazard did not have the best of World Cups by his high standards and he has been the first one to admit that he was disappointed with his individual performances throughout the tournament.
The 23-year-old was expected to shine in Brazil following an impressive domestic season at Chelsea, but he has failed to replicate that form for his country on the biggest stage and he puts it down to the team's fatigue.
“I think I could have done better. In terms of quality, I could have been better," Hazard was quoted by ESPN.
“We all had a big game against the USA, which left us tired. We are still lacking something to reach the last four and that’s called experience. I think we’ll have that in a few years’ time. We have to keep playing like that.
“The Argentines are used to playing games at the top level, when the tension is highest. They have the experience to make the difference with the smallest details.
“We were given a good lesson: it’s up to us to learn from it. I felt that we could have done so much better, but we should hold our heads high."
Marc Wilmots’ side were considered dark horses to lift the trophy in the run-up to the competition but, despite topping their group, they never really clicked as a team and always looked as if they were relying on their star men to see them through.
Hazard, who was an expensive acquisition for Chelsea back in 2012 when he signed from Lille for a staggering £32 million, did claim two assists and created 13 chances in Belgium’s five matches although he could not prevent them from being eliminated during their quarter-final with Argentina.
Belgium can learn from 2014 experience
The tricky winger still has plenty of World Cups ahead of him and he, along with his relatively young teammates, can learn a lot from their experience of Brazil that can only help them going into international tournaments in the future.
It is fine margins that separate the best from the rest. Hazard has been made aware of that the hard way and he will now know what is required of him when he puts on his national strip in the years to come.
If Belgium continue to progress they will be sure to be touted as ‘dark horses’ once again when Euro 2016 in France comes around.
However, I believe they may need to think about a change in manager if they want to truly progress and announce themselves as genuine world beaters.
Wilmots’ substitutions did make a pivotal impact in their Group H opener against Algeria, but for me he failed to motivate and inspire his players and as a result of that they looked disinterested at times and lacked any real direction or game plan.
They never scored in the first half of any of their matches and often relied on late goals to rescue them from a below-par performance. If they want to get the best out of a hugely talented squad then something has to change, and it starts with the manager.
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