BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil (AP) — Belgium is looking to playmaker Eden Hazard to come alive during Tuesday's opening World Cup match against Algeria to make sure the team can live up to the pre-tournament hype.
Coach Marc Wilmots said that the Chelsea star "can be among the five best in world," with his vision on the ball, the deft dribbling and powerful shot.
With Algeria expected to play well back in defense against the Group H favorite, it could well come down to a flash of individual brilliance to break open the game.
Wilmots has a fully fit squad for the game and said all of Hazard's skills would amount to nothing if the team fails to back him up.
"It's not only a tournament for Eden, but for the whole team," he said.
Belgium is favored to advance into the second round from a group that also contains Russia and South Korea.
While captain Vincent Kompany readily highlights Hazard's abilities, he believes quality runs deep in the team.
There are many players "in our team that you can name going forward that are really good," he said. " But ultimately I consider our success down to our behavior as a team."
Continue reading this story on the...