clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Jan Vertonghen ties Belgium cap record, scores in World Cup qualifying win

Super Jan is now the joint-top Belgium cap earner with 96 appearances for the Red Devils.

Belgium v Gibraltar - FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

It was a day to remember for Jan Vertonghen, who both tied a Belgium national team record and scored a goal, helping his team achieve a thrilling 4-3 World Cup Qualifying win at Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Vertonghen, who started in his usual LCB position in a back three alongside Toby Alderweireld and Thomas Vermaelen, earned his 96th cap for the Red Devils, which ties him with attacking midfielder Jan Ceulemans.

Jan also scored his eighth goal for his country, finding himself wide open on the back post for an easy tap-in.

Belgium had already qualified for the World Cup in Russia next summer, so this wasn’t exactly a high profile match, but it was still a pretty exciting game. A Bosnia win would’ve meant they could have slipped ahead of Greece into the second spot in their group. Now they have to win at Estonia on Tuesday, and somehow hope that Greece loses to Gibraltar to maintain any hope of qualifying.

Ahead of the match, Belgium manager Roberto Martinez said that nobody deserved the record more than Vertonghen.

"There's been a lot of talk about this golden generation, but it's important we can have leadership and personality creating a team.

"I think that's where Jan is essential. He's a leader, he's a really experienced head and that's important. We've got a few of those and they're going to guide the younger talent.

"To get 95 caps at this stage of his career is a sensational achievement. That just shows you the professionalism that he has."

Ceulemans’ record has stood since 1991, and it seems inconceivable that Vertonghen won’t have a chance to break that record on Tuesday as Belgium hosts Cyprus at the Konig Boudewijnstadion. Normally, I’m all about keeping Tottenham Hotspur players OFF the pitch in meaningless international matches, but this is important. This is history. Super Jan needs to play.