12:00 AM UTC Aug 21, 2018
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World Cup
 By Reuters

Belgium's Eden Hazard must stay cool amid World Cup provocation - Kevin De Bruyne

Belgium playmaker Kevin De Bruyne has urged teammate Eden Hazard to remain calm, saying he expects the Chelsea winger to be targeted aggressively by opponents at the World Cup.

Hazard limped off with a dead leg after a series of heavy tackles in Belgium's 4-1 win over Costa Rica in Monday's warmup game.

"If you are good, then people try to kick you," De Bruyne told reporters. "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."

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De Bruyne, who enjoyed a stellar Premier League season with champions Manchester City, believes such situations can be used to advantage.

"Even if he [Hazard] gets kicked, we get a free kick, an advantage, and they get a yellow, so it is positive," the 26-year-old said.

Belgium, unbeaten in 19 games, play Panama in their Group G opener on Monday.


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