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Eden Hazard named captain for Belgian team

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Marc Wilmots has released his preliminary squad for the 2016 European Championships with in-form Chelsea winger, Eden Hazard, named as the captain.

Hazard, who scored a fantastic individual goal last night against Liverpool - making it four goals in four games for his club - has had a very disappointing season by his standards so for Wilmots to put his faith in the young playmaker captaining the side shows his trust in his ability.

His recent form is great news for Wilmots who hopes he can be a key cog in their challenge to win the Euros that commence in a mere 29 days.

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The news comes after Vincent Kompany has been ruled out for four months after an injury that he picked up in the Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid that led to him being substituted in the first half.

Wilmots confirmed the news in his press conference: "Vincent Kompany's absence is sad for him and for the team. He's a leader. He will not be part of the staff.

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"In Kompany's absence Eden Hazard will be our captain...we have to decide the 24 [man squad]. Afterwards, an injured player can still be replaced by a standby one."

Hazard has made 62 appearances for his country at a senior level while scoring 12 goals. The 25-year-old will be hoping that he can add to his tally in this tournament where the Belgians have a great chance of going deep into the knockout stages.

The full Belgium squad features 12 Premier League players including Divock Origi, who is still out injured with ankle ligament damage that he suffered against Everton in April, but seemingly Wilmots is confident he'll be fully fit when the tournament kicks off.

FBL-ENG-PR-LIVERPOOL-EVERTON

Belgium squad in full:

Goalkeepers: Thibaut Courtois (Chelsea), Simon Mignolet (Liverpool), Jean-Francois Gillett (KV Mechelen)

Defenders: Toby Alderweireld (Tottenham), Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham), Dedryck Boyata (Celtic), Thomas Vermaelen (Barcelona), Jason Denayer (Galatasaray on loan from Manchester City), Jordan Lukaku (Oostende), Bjorn Engels (Club Brugge), Thomas Meunier (Club Brugge), Nicolas Lombaerts (Zenit St Petersburg).

Midfielders: Moussa Dembele (Tottenham), Marouane Fellaini (Manchester United), Axel Witsel (Zenit St Petersburg), Radja Nainggolan (AS Roma).

Attackers: Christian Benteke (Liverpool), Romelu Lukaku (Everton), Divock Origi (Liverpool), Eden Hazard (Chelsea), Kevin de Bruyne (Chelsea), Yannick Ferreira Carrasco (Atletico Madrid), Michy Batshauyi (Olympique de Marseille), Dries Mertens (Napoli).

FBL-EURO-2016-BEL-TRAINING

Kevin de Bruyne, Eden Hazard, Dries Mertens and Ferreira Carrasco have all been listed as attackers despite plying their trade as wingers or attacking midfielders.

Nacer Chadli (Tottenham) and Kevin Mirallas (Everton) are amongst those on the standby shortlist in case members of the 24-man preliminary squad pick up injuries ruling them out of the tournament.

Belgium will have to negotiate past their opposition in Group E where they will play Italy, Republic of Ireland and Sweden to progress to the knockout stages of the competition held in France.

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Topics:
Football
Premier League
Romelu Lukaku
Chelsea
Belgium Football
Moussa Dembele
Marouane Fellaini
Eden Hazard
Christian Benteke

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