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Tottenham defender a class act; deserves to set new Belgium record

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Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen says he’s delighted to have the chance to become his country’s most capped player.

The 30-year-old is set to pass former striker Jan Ceulemans’ tally of 96 caps, a record that has stood for 26 years, when Belgium face Cyprus on Tuesday.

Vertonghen made his first senior appearance for his country in a European Championship qualifier against Portugal back in 2007.

“I’m very proud,” he told the club’s official website.

“I’ve always been watching the national team since I was very young and I wouldn’t have dreamed of playing for them. I never imagined it.

“I liked playing football, but I never thought I was going to be as good as I have to be to play for the national team.

“Eventually I was and now, to have played so many games, to have played at tournaments with the national team and to hopefully break the record, it’s one of the proudest moments of my career.”

Vertonghen has been a quality performer throughout his career and his value to any team was perfectly highlighted before Belgium’s last game against Bosnia-Herzegovina on Saturday.

Eden Hazard asked Vertonghen to take on captain duties for the World Cup qualifier, but the Spurs man surprisingly declined the invitation, saying that it would be inappropriate to wear the armband as the Chelsea star was his country’s rightful skipper.

The defender remains a consistent performer for both club and country and it would be no surprise to see him set a record of appearances for Belgium that will never be surpassed.

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