Brazil star Willian says he is looking forward to coming out on top when he faces his club colleague Eden Hazard in the World Cup quarter -final between Brazil and Belgium.The teams meet in Kazan on Friday evening with Brazil the favourites , despite the quality in a Belgian side captained by Hazard , who plays with Willian at Chelsea .
“ He is a very humble player and I like being with him on a daily basis at club level . But now it is time for each of us to defend our corner and I hope to come out on top , ” Willian said at Brazil ’ s training base in Sochi on Wednesday .
“ He is one of the best players in the world , but now I am on a different side and I want to do everything to win. I know we will remain friends after , ” added the 29 – year- old , who will also be facing Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.
Willian is expected to keep his place in coach Tite ’ s starting line -up for the game after producing his best performance at the World Cup so far in Monday ’ s 2 – 0 victory against Mexico .
It was a performance which suggested the five – time winners of the trophy were comfortable with their tag as favourites , having recorded three straight wins since an opening 1 – 1 draw against Switzerland .
“ The team has evolved since the first game , ” Willian added . “ There was nervousness in that first match , a more complicated start against Switzerland , and we have grown step by step . I think we are at the same level as in the qualifiers . ”
He added that Neymar is getting better by the game , but the same can be said of Willian himself , who is one of the few survivors from the 2014 squad .
“ I am more mature and have more experience than at the last World Cup, and the team is more consistent , ” insisted Willian , who appeared from the bench in the 7 – 1 semi – final humiliation against Germany in 2014 .
Brazil will leave their base on Russia ’ s Black Sea coast for the final time on Thursday to head to Kazan for Friday’ s game .
With Marcelo and Douglas Costa having shaken off injuries , it is the first time in this World Cup that Tite has had his whole squad fit.
However , Real Madrid midfielder Casemiro will miss the match due to suspension , with Fernandinho expected to replace him .
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