Rostov-on-Don (Russia): Belgium captain Eden Hazard acknowledged on Sunday that the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia is likely the last chance for his generation of players to make their mark.
Speaking on the eve of Monday's last-16 knockout clash with Japan, the 27-year-old said that it was now or never for his era of Belgian soccer.
The Chelsea forward, who stayed on the bench during The Red Devils' final group stage match against England, which they won 1-0, said he feels ready and eager to play.
He warned his teammates that the Samurai Blue has quality players with experience in European clubs, and that they won their first match 2-1 against Colombia, so Belgium should be ready for anything.
However, Hazard was confident that Belgium has a better squad than in the 2014 World Cup and the Euro 2016, adding that they are a determined group that is strong both technically and tactically.
Belgium coach Roberto Martinez had on Sunday warned that Japan can pose a threat to the Red Devils' aspirations at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
The Spanish coach said Japan has enough skills to complicate Monday's knockout match, adding that the Samurai Blue has a good generation of players - many of whom have experience with European teams.
Matrinez also said Japan plays fast, with a lot of energy and technical strength, and while he stressed that Belgium is a team that knows how to control the ball, he cautioned that possession is not as important as what the players do with it.
However, the coach said he was confident Belgium is ready for all possible scenarios in Monday's match, adding that the team currently has a very good dynamic and that all of them are eager to win.