Jan Vertonghen is very comfortable within the Belgium squad, and that’s seemed the case for a long time. Now jointly with the most caps for his country, drawing with Jan Ceulemans on 96, Vertonghen can surpass the figure on Tuesday against Cyprus and go out on his own as Belgium’s highest appearance maker.
There’s been some fanfare in the country surrounding the Tottenham defender, but Vertonghen thinks it’s all got a little out of hand, and has dismissed some of the ‘myths’.
Speaking to Belgian newspaper HLN, Vertonghen explained: “I even read somewhere that I would have asked to play in a shirt with number 97 on Tuesday. People who know me ask me, “Jan, what’s that?” I didn’t know anything about that. They are all myths, because I just want to play my game as the player I was in the previous 95 internationals.”
There’s also been quite a bit of Belgium talk about Eden Hazard handing over the armband for the game, but Vertonghen isn’t interested in that either: “Eden offered me the captain’s band, but that kind of thing… it’s not for me at all.
“Eden is our captain, I don’t have the ambition to wear this captain’s band now. Not in Sarajevo and also against Cyprus. It is very kind of Eden that he wants to do that, that is what makes him happy. I thanked him too.”
Vertonghen knows his Belgian record is likely to be surpassed in the not too distant future, and he’s not overly keen to make and song and dance out of it all. The Tottenham defender is happy to remain an important player for Belgium, and will cherish that for as long as it lasts.