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Chelsea’s Eden Hazard says he ‘recognises’ World Cup critics were ‘justified’

Chelsea's PFA Young Player of the Year saw his form dip with Belgium at the 2014 World Cup, and he says 'I tried to give the maximum but it didn't work out as I'd wished'.

Eden Hazard and Belgium were knocked out in the 2014 World Cup quarter-finals by Argentina. Peter Powell / EPA / July 5, 2014
Eden Hazard and Belgium were knocked out in the 2014 World Cup quarter-finals by Argentina. Peter Powell / EPA / July 5, 2014

Belgium forward Eden Hazard has said criticism of his World Cup performances was justified and he was determined to shine at the European Championship in 2016.

Hazard set up Divock Origi’s winner in the group phase match against Russia but did little else to justify pre-tournament hype that he was one of the world’s best players.

In Belgium’s quarter-final loss to Argentina the forward was taken off in the 75th minute after an ineffective performance.

“As a team, we could have done better. But losing to the finalists and being among the last eight nations in the competition is not so bad,” Hazard, 23, was quoted as saying by Belgian newspaper group Sudpresse on Wednesday.

“On a personal level, I recognise that the criticism towards me was justified. I tried to give the maximum but it didn’t work out as I’d wished.

“I hope to shine in Euro 2016 in France and then I will still have the opportunity to play in two or perhaps three World Cups,” added the Chelsea player.

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