Mar 5, 2014, 9:55 AM EDT
Despite Jose Mourinho’s belief that Eden Hazard needs to be rested during Belgium’s friendly match against Ivory Coast on Wednesday, the Chelsea midfielder claims the more games he plays, the better.
“I don’t need rest, as I’ve said before, I’m at my best if I can play a lot of matches. But I must be aware that I don’t let myself burn out,” Hazard told Belgian publication Het Laatste Nieuws.
The winger’s adamance at playing Wednesday comes at direct odds with Mourinho’s comments from last Friday.
“He needs a rest,” the Chelsea boss said. “It’d be perfect if his national coach did not play him. He can not have a rest in the club. In the national team he doesn’t have to play friendly matches.”
It’s a notion that Belgium manager, Marc Wilmots, is unlikely to share as he prepares his side for the 2014 World Cup. Hazard spoke to Wilmots earlier this week and claims the manager is will versed on Mourinho’s worries. “I spoke to the coach (Marc Wilmots) about it and we will see how long I will play. He understands the situation, he’s not stupid. He knows I’m playing a lot.”
Hazard has made 42 appearances for Chelsea this season, starting 38 contests and scoring 14 goals. He and Belgium are set to take on the Ivory Coast at the King Baudouin Stadium in Brussels today at 2:45pm ET.
- Brek Shea’s USMNT return includes a personal, artistic touch 3
- Wayne Rooney may play in midfield: How will Chelsea, Manchester United line up? 0
- WATCH: NBC Sports’ Premier League TV schedule – Week 33 0
- Prince-Wright’s Premier League picks: Red-hot teams will keep rolling 3
- MLS Week 7 preview: RSL vs. Whitecaps, Galaxy vs. Sporting KC in the wild West 0
- Injury crisis for Manchester United as four key players to miss clash vs. Chelsea 1