Belgium plot to stop Lionel Messi

Belgium plot to stop Lionel Messi

Belgium plan to exploit Argentina’s over-reliance on Lionel Messi when the two nations meet in Brasilia on Saturday in the World Cup quarter-finals. Belgium coach Marc Wilmots said: ‘We are not favourites against Argentina but there is a lack of balance in their team. We will make sure we play well against a stronger opponent.’ Chelsea forward Eden Hazard added: ‘We know the best player in the world is in this team, who can make the difference every game. But we are not afraid. If we can stop him we have a chance.’

The fixture has evoked images of 1986 when Argentina legend Diego Maradona terrorised the Belgian defence in the semi-final. But Hazard claims his side will meet the South Americans on the front foot this time. ‘We can win if we attack,’ he said. ‘The whole team is tranquil. We do not feel pressure, we play like we do in training, and that is why we are there. ‘It is a big game for this generation. It is very important. We can make history. This is maybe the biggest game in my life.’

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