Belgium’s Eden Hazard has played down the comments he made about team-mate Romelu Lukaku after their 3-0 win over Panama.
Dries Mertens put Belgium ahead just after the break before a Lukaku double sealed the win in Sochi.
Belgium were criticised for their first-half performance and Hazard said he had to speak to his team-mate at half-time to talk about how he felt he was “hiding up front”. He later admitted he did not “regret what he said”.
Speaking to Sky Sports News’ Gary Cotterill, Hazard said: “As the captain, even if I am not the captain I can talk, on the pitch I try to give my best, if I can help players to be better – I will.”
“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.
“We just talked normally and we won the game in the end so it was fine.”
Hazard had told the BBC “it was not easy playing with a man missing” but when he was in the game he created some “magic”.