Belgium captain Eden Hazard has move to clarify comments he made about Romelu Lukaku ‘hiding’ during the country’s 3-0 World Cup win over Panama earlier this week, insisting that as skipper it is his job to make sure every player is at their best.
Lukaku scored twice in the victory, but Belgium looked laboured until Dries Mertens broke the deadlock with a stunning volley out of nowhere early in the second half.
The Manchester United striker’s performance led Hazard to suggest he had been ‘hiding up front’ and was, at times, ‘missing’, while not giving enough in terms of overall contribution.
Hazard has not taken back what he said, but rather has clarified the situation, explaining that there is no problem or anger between the two players.
“I just told Romelu [Lukaku] if we want to win the game we need him, not just as a scorer to score goals, but we want him to be involved in the build-up,” he added.
“We just talked normally and we won the game in the end so it was fine.”
Belgium’s second Group G game is against Tunisia, who were narrowly beaten 2-1 by England on Monday after a stellar defensive effort, and will be played in Moscow on Saturday.
Then, a clash with England in Kaliningrad next Thursday could decide who tops the standings.