Chelsea star Eden Hazard was the surprise choice to captain Belgium when Vincent Kompany was ruled out of Euro 2016 through injury, but former Belgium coach Marc Wilmots has revealed why he made the decision.
“I wanted to give him the captaincy, to give him responsibility. He’s still very young, but all that he has gone through from being 17 to now being 25, the title with Lille, everything, it’s huge.
“To make him progress more quickly in the national team, he needed to have the No. 10 shirt. I said, ‘No. 10 can also go on the bench, it’s possible.’ The captaincy made him more responsible, that was my goal in giving it to him. There were a lot other players who should have had it, like Jan Vertonghen, but it was to help him grow. That’s also the role of a coach: at a time, to give the keys to the team and say, ‘When I have left, drive it like that.'” Said Wilmots.
New Belgium coach Roberto Martinez has continued with Hazard as the captain of the Belgium national team.