Belgium's Eden Hazard praised "super-good" Colombian goal ace James Rodriguez and said he hoped to make similar headlines at the FIFA World Cup™.
The Chelsea star admitted he has yet to hit form in the tournament as Belgium safely negotiated the group stages to set up Tuesday's Round of 16 game against USA.
With current top scorer Rodriguez grabbing headlines courtesy of his fabulous double past Uruguay, Hazard insisted he is itching to play a decisive role for the Red Devils.
"I think that each match I've given my maximum. Since the start of the World Cup I haven't had a great match with good moves," Hazard said.
"I haven't had a good match with good moves that could be decisive for our team. So I hope I can do that and have a good match.
"I would really like it if I can get around the pitch more and see more of the ball - and make a difference, basically."
He played a super-good match. I knew who he was but most people didn't know much about Colombia.
Hazard had been tipped to become one of the FIFA World Cup's brightest stars but found himself crowded out in Belgium's group wins over Algeria and Russia.
He nearly opened his account after coming on in the final minutes of the 1-0 victory against Korea Republic, but saw an angled shot palmed away by goalkeeper Kim Seunggyu.
Belgium coach Marc Wilmots said he is still waiting for Hazard to "take hold of a match" and had discussed the problem with the 23-year-old.
Rodriguez, meanwhile, scored three times in group play and blasted Colombia into the last eight, first with a superb volley and then by finishing a team move to seal the 2-0 win.
"He played a super-good match. I knew who he was but most people didn't know much about Colombia," Hazard said of the 22-year-old Rodriguez.
"I think yes, his statistics are the best and he showed that he can carry a team. We thought it would be difficult for Colombia without [injured striker Radamel] Falcao. But he scored two superb goals."
Despite his indifferent start, the assured Hazard carried a look of intent as he spoke to reporters at Belgium's training base in Mogi das Cruzes, near Sao Paulo.
The playmaker said he would have no hesitation to step forward if the clash with the Stars and Stripes goes to a penalty shootout.
"I hope it doesn't happen, because we'll all feel the pressure. But if we have to take them, I prefer to go last," he said.
"In qualifying it's easier because you have more matches. Now we've arrived at the stage where if you lose, you're out. It's multiplied by ten. One mistake and that could be it."