Eden Hazard criticized France’s playing style following Belgium’s 1-0 loss in the World Cup semifinal on Tuesday.
“I prefer to lose with Belgium than win with France,” Hazard said, after the game. “We play most beautifully. That’s more my style.”
“The little black spot is of course that goal from a set-piece,” Hazard said. “But we know Deschamps’ France. We expected that, but we couldn’t find that little spark to score a goal. I didn’t find it. France scored first and it became difficult. We came up against a stronger team. We could have done better, but we didn’t.”
“There wasn’t a lot said in the dressing room after the loss, because there was a lot of sadness,” Hazard said. “We deserved better from this game, even if we expected that sort of game against a team that defends well and plays on the counter-attack.”
Belgium goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois believes that
France’s tactics made the game “frustrating.”
“We lost against a team that I don’t think were better than us,” Courtois, according to Onda Cero radio.
“France know very well that in the last two years, the more difficult matches we have had were against teams that put 11 men behind the ball. If you see today, there was a moment when [Olivier] Giroud and Griezmann were playing 35 or 40 metres from their goal. But the teams have the right to play to their strengths. I do not think we played our best offensive game. They score a goal in a corner and that’s always a shame.
“Each team that loses a semi-final thinks [they have missed an opportunity]. If you lose against a team that has played better, you say good, congratulations, because they have been better. I do not have that feeling today.”