Manchester City star and Belgium international Kevin De Bruyne has expressed concern that his Belgian teammate and Chelsea star Eden Hazard will be targetted by the opposition with harsh tackles during the Russia 2018 world cup, but admitted that it could be used to their advantage.
Hazard limped off after an injury scare in the 4:1 friendly win over Costa Rica, a game in which he was unplayable and suffered several heavy challenges.
“If you are good then people try to kick you,” De Bruyne told the Telegraph. “He is in a position where a lot of people are around him and you get kicked.
“Even if he gets kicked we get a free-kick, an advantage, and they get a yellow, so it is positive. You need to calculate what is coming.
“You try to stay calm as much as possible. Sometimes that isn’t easy but you just try.”
Regardless of Hazard’s abrupt departure from the pitch, Belgium coach Roberto Martinez expressed optimism that he’ll be fit to start the tournament and that there was nothing to worry about.
“He’s very strong, he just had a dead leg towards the end of the match,” he said.