Belgium manager Roberto Martinez has said Eden Hazard will continue to captain Belgium despite the return of Vincent Kompany.

Previously a long-standing captain of his country, Kompany, 30, has not played for Belgium since featuring in a Euro 2016 qualifying win against Israel on Oct. 13 last year.

A groin injury ruled the Manchester City defender out of the European Championship, leaving Hazard, 25, to lead their nation in the final tournament.

Hazard has also worn the captain’s armband in the initial stages of 2018 World Cup qualifying, and though Kompany has now returned to the international fold, Martinez, 43, told media the Chelsea player will continue to do so.

“Let’s go slowly with Vincent. Of course he wants to be captain, everyone wants to have the honour of wearing the armband of the national team,” Martinez, who was appointed in the summer, said.

“But Eden Hazard fills the role very well, and I’m in favour of continuity. I want lots of leaders in my team. It’s not important who wears the armband.”

Kompany could yet still feature in Wednesday’s friendly with Netherlands in Amsterdam and next Sunday’s 2018 World Cup qualifier against Estonia in Brussels, but Radja Nainggolan will be forced to watch from home.

The Roma midfielder, 28, was a surprise absence from Martinez’s squad, despite playing regularly for his club and previously being a stalwart of the national team.

“I pick the players with whom I can make the best team. I don’t call up experienced players on the basis of their reputation,” the former Swansea City and Everton boss said.

“You have to work, fight, be patient and deserve your call up. I want a competitive national team. I make my choices fairly, and my advantage is that I’m neutral. If you always had to just pick the same names, you don’t need a national team coach.”

Read More:


Culled from ESPNFC