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Despite his manager's comments suggesting he could be a top five player, the 23-year-old Belgium star believes comparisons to world class players are undeserved

Eden Hazard has distanced himself from Belgium coach Marc Wilmots' comments suggesting that he could become one of the top five players in the world.

The 23-year-old, who, along with players like Dries Mertens, Romelu Lukaku and Thibaut Courtois, is at the forefront of Belgium’s so-called golden generation, was quick to reject such talk and believes he would have to score more goals to be classed in the same bracket as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

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"Seriously? He said that? Well, I never like to talk about myself in that way because, to be honest, I don't think I deserve it at the moment,” Hazard told Fifa’s official website. “To be thought of as one of the best five in the world, I would need to score more goals for a start.

“I would really need to score almost every game because that is what the best players in the world - like Messi and Ronaldo - do every season.

“These are the guys everyone else has to aim for. It's nice of the coach to say such things, but I wouldn't say the same."

The Chelsea player admitted that he found his country’s opening World Cup game against Algeria tough, but he believes his team started to find their rhythm once Marouane Fellaini scored the equalising goal.

Belgium, who top of Group H, went on to win the match 2-1 thanks to Mertens' 80th minute goal and victory over Russia on Sunday would secure a place in the last 16 for the Rode Duivels.

"I didn't find it easy," he said. "It was difficult for all the midfielders and forwards, especially in the first half, to find the space to show what we can do.

“But when Marouane scored the equaliser, the game opened up more and we were able to show a little more of what we can bring as individuals and as a team. Hopefully you will see more of that kind of football from us in the games ahead.

"I can definitely play better and we can also play better as a group. But this was just a start for us, and we have won our first game, which we always felt would be the most important one. There's not much more we could ask.

“You know at a tournament like this that if you win the first game, you have a great chance of going through. Now we are in a good position at the top of the group and we want to do everything we can to stay there.

“I think you have to applaud the Algerian team because they made it really, really uncomfortable for us. But it's important to adapt in these situations and stay calm, not panic. That was the most important thing for us and I think did that well.

"We know that we have great quality right through this squad and it gives you confidence to see the kind of players we have on the bench. We'll need everyone in the squad to help if we're going to achieve what we want to at this tournament and make a real impact."

 

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