x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Belgium’s Vertonghen: ‘I myself am the worst bench-sitter’

Tottenham and Belgium defender Jan Vertonghen hopes he doesn't have to do much watching at the 2014 World Cup, as, he says, 'I want to play every game'.

Jan Vertonghen, left, and Vincent Kompany board Belgium's team plane bound for Brazil on Tuesday. Francois Lenoir / Reuters / June 10, 2014
Jan Vertonghen, left, and Vincent Kompany board Belgium's team plane bound for Brazil on Tuesday. Francois Lenoir / Reuters / June 10, 2014

Belgium defender Jan Vertonghen described himself the worst bench-sitter in the world on Thursday in a clear indication of where he wants to be when his team play their opening World Cup game against Algeria.

“Everyone wants to play at the World Cup and I myself am the worst bench-sitter in the world because I want to play every game,” he told a news conference at the Belgian base at Mogi das Cruzes before a closed-doors training session.

Vertonghen has captain Vincent Kompany and Thomas Vermaelen ahead of him in the pecking order, forcing him to play for his country on the left side of defence.

“I have grown in my game over the last year on the left flank,” he said. “I realise I’ll never be the best left back in the world but I can be of value for the team.

“To be able to start a game at the World Cup would be an unbelievable experience.”

Belgium will be among the last World Cup sides to play their first match, against the Algerians in Group H on Tuesday.

“We are not really feeling the World Cup fever yet,” added Vertonghen. “But after the opening game I’m sure it will be different.”

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