'We are stronger' - Hazard backs Belgium to contend at Euro 2020 after falling short at the World Cup

The Real Madrid forward believes he is back up to full speed after a slow start to the domestic season and is looking forward to more Belgium duty
The Real Madrid forward believes he is back up to full speed after a slow start to the domestic season and is looking forward to more Belgium duty

Eden Hazard believes Belgium will head to Euro 2020 stronger than ever and must improve on their third-place finish at the 2018 World Cup.

Roberto Martinez's side have a 100 per cent record after nine games in qualifying for the European Championship and will seek to finish their campaign with a maximum 30 points against Cyprus on Tuesday.

As a result, they sit atop a group that also includes Russia, Scotland and Kazakhstan as the Belgians have scored 34 goals while allowing just two in nine qualifying matches so far.

Scroll to continue with content
Ad

The Red Devils finished third in last year's World Cup and lead the FIFA rankings as they remain among the top powers in international football.

And Hazard thinks they are better equipped for their next major tournament as Belgium's golden generation look to finally get their hands on an international trophy. 

"We have two years more experience than at the World Cup, two more years with the coach," said Real Madrid star Hazard.

"We know each other better, we have young players … I think we are stronger. We have developed the winning mentality that we didn't have enough at Euro 2016 and the World Cup.

"But if we end up fourth in the European Championship then we will be less strong." 

Belgium have already been touted as potential Euro 2020 winners, alongside the likes of England, Spain, France and Germany.

Hazard says they deserve to be considered in that category, having proven themselves throughout qualifying after falling short in Russia in 2018.

"We are among the favourites, for sure," added Hazard. 

"But we are not alone. France, Italy, Spain, England are also serious opponents." 

Following the international break, Hazard will return to Real Madrid for a match against Real Sociedad ahead of a vital Champions League clash against Paris Saint-Germain in Spain.

What to read next