Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini has revealed his national team manager Marc Wilmots and Belgium players helped him regain his confidence during the World Cup in Brazil.
The 26-year-old was part of the Belgium squad for the summer event in South America where his national side made it to the last eight of the tournament, losing to Argentina in the quarter finals.
Fellaini was signed by the former Red Devils manager David Moyes from Everton for £27.5m last summer. In his debut season, the Belgium international struggled as injuries and poor form hampered his progress.
However, he has been one of the standout players in United's midfield under Louis van Gaal and Fellaini admits that he felt like a scapegoat for Red Devils' poor show last season.
"The World Cup also helped a lot. The manager of the national team and the players helped me, and it was a great experience for everybody," Fellaini said, as quoted by the Mirror.
"I played well and the team also. For my confidence that was important. I came back after the summer confident. The mentality is important and I do have this quality so I can keep going. My family helped me through it."
"Last season was a difficult one for me but I didn't lose faith in myself. In football you have to be strong in the head. Yes, a little bit [I felt like a scapegoat]. That's a difficult question to answer."
"The manager said to me I would have to fight if I wanted to play. I did fight and trained hard and that was it. When I got my chance, I tried to show myself and tried to do my best.
"I'm fit now and that's why I'm better. When I'm super-fit, I will be better I'm sure. I was injured earlier this season. They said I had to have surgery on my ankle, but I didn't. It was a bad injury, but now I am better and I can look forward."
"When you're playing, you're always happy. So I'm happy at the moment. I have worked hard and will work hard to play every game," the former Everton midfielder added.