Carrasco made China move to boost World Cup hopes

While some criticised Yannick Carrasco for going from Atletico Madrid to Dalian Yifang, he says he did it to help his World Cup chances.

Yannick Carrasco says he left Atletico Madrid for Chinese Super League side Dalian Yifang in order to play enough minutes to secure a place in Belgium's World Cup squad.

Carrasco showed real promise in his first two seasons at Atletico following a move from Monaco, particularly in his second campaign when he scored 10 times in LaLiga.

But he struggled for consistency this term, starting just eight times in the first half of the season and when Dalian Yifang came calling, the Belgian made the move to China.

Still just 24, some criticised Carrasco for not sticking around to fight for his place in Spain, while others suggested his career would suffer by playing in the Super League.

However, Carrasco feels he has a better chance of making sure of a place in Roberto Martinez's Belgium selection for Russia because of the additional game time he is getting at Dalian Yifang.

"There is always criticism in the world of football about if I had stayed or not," said Carrasco.

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"They are complicated decisions that have to be made in life. China is not exactly a league we know, but it's true that at Atletico I did not have too many minutes to play.

"For me, it was important to have momentum ahead of the World Cup that comes this summer."

Dalian Yifang have lost all three of their league games this season, conceding 13 goals and failing to score.