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Hazard still hopeful of future Belgium glory

Eden Hazard was bitterly disappointed to see his Belgium team exit Euro 2016 at the hands of Wales, but insists his nation’s golden generation still have immense winning quality.

Belgium’s quarter-final got off to a dream start but ended in a nightmare after Radja Nainggolan put the favourites a goal up only for Wales to strike back three times on the way to a famous 3-1 win.

Hazard denied the loss should be terminal for coach Marc Wilmots, but said his team would be back at future international tournaments bigger and stronger for the experience.

“We’re going to keep working with the aim of winning things in future,” he said.

“There’s a lot of pressure on him [Wilmots]. We have had him as a coach for several years. We have had some great moments with him, some super moments with him.

“Today we have had a disappointment, but I think he will have a think, he will decide later if he wants to continue with us and if not, then we will wish him luck for the future.

“In two years there is a World Cup. That’s another objective, so we’ll think about that, about qualification, then there’s a Euro in 2020. We have a young team so we can be positive about the future.”

Hazard added: “We played better today than we did against Argentina [in the 2014 World Cup]. We didn’t play well that day. We lost 1-0, but we had some regrets as we didn’t do enough.

“Today we played a great first 20 minutes, at the end of the match we all said that we would have liked to continue because we have a lot of quality, but they played with more desire than us today. They have many players who play in the English league.

“There is a lot of desire, a lot of contact, today we had a very young team. Youth is great but sometimes if you have a lack of experience it can show.

“We lost against Italy, but I think we played three good matches against Ireland, against Sweden and against Hungary. So we will keep working together this generation because it’s a pleasure to work together and we will try to win things together.”

Sat 2 Jul, 2016
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