Belgium defender Jordan Lukaku, brother of Everton striker Romelu Lukaku, believes that Real Madrid superstar Gareth Bale is a better player than his national team skipper Eden Hazard.
Jordan, 21, plays as a left-back for Oostende and is a member of 23-man Belgium squad for Euro 2016, although he has yet to feature in the tournament so far.
Belgium will play Wales on Friday in the quarterfinals, and ahead of the match, Lukaku has singled out Aaron Ramsey and Bale as the dangermen for Chris Coleman’s team.
He went on to reveal his admiration for Bale claiming the Welshman is a slightly better player than Chelsea winger Hazard and says that Belgium will devise a plan to stop both Ramsey and Bale from dominating the game.
“Bale is for me perhaps slightly higher than Hazard. He’s been playing longer at that level,” he said as quoted by ESPN.
“At key moments at club level Bale is the man and he stands there, while Hazard is still not consistent.
“The staff will devise a plan to neutralise Bale and Aaron Ramsey because they are the strongest players Wales have. So we will find a way to counter them but it will not be one player, it will be the whole team.”
Bale has enjoyed a superb 2015/16 campaign for Real Madrid and has emerged as an integral part of Zinedine Zidane’s squad, but rumours are abuzz that Premier League giants Manchester United are still interested in signing him and may look to offer a record £94m bid for his signature.
After a poor start to the tournament, where Belgium lost 2-0 to Italy in their opening match, Marc Wilmots’ side have bounced back strongly and are heading to the quarterfinals with full of confidence after beating Hungary 4-0 in their previous match.
Wales may have managed an ugly win against Northern Ireland, thanks to an own goal to reach this far, but they are no pushover either. Belgium failed to beat them in their Group B qualifying campaign with a goalless draw in Brussels, followed up by a 1-0 loss in Cardiff, where Bale scored the winner for Wales.
The winner of this quarterfinal clash will face either Poland or Portugal in the final four on July 7, 2016.