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Dembele on record-breaker Jan: ‘He’s the pillar that can’t fall down’

Posted on 11 October 2017  - 14:50

Mousa Dembele has paid a glowing tribute to team-mate and close friend Jan Vertonghen after the defender broke the all-time appearance record for Belgium on Tuesday night.

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Leading his side out as captain, Jan played his 97th game for the Red Devils and helped them keep a clean sheet in a 4-0 win over Cyprus in Brussels.

His appearance in the final World Cup qualifier saw him leapfrog former striker Jan Ceulemans’ total of 96 caps, won between 1977 and 1991, and midfielder Mousa, team-mates with Jan at Spurs since 2012 and currently on 70 caps for his country, was thrilled to see his pal reach the historic milestone.

“If you look at him when he arrived at Spurs he was doing well but if you compare it to now, obviously he’s played a lot of games in the Premier League and this translates to playing in the national team as well,” he said.

“People talk about the big names in the national team and he is one of them – he is one of the pillars that can’t fall down.

“It’s an unbelievable achievement. If you see all the times he’s played for Belgium, I can’t remember him having a bad game. He’s always very motivated to play for Belgium and he deserves this (praise). He sets an example, not only for the current group but for the future as well.”

Read more from Mousa, ex-Spurs and Belgium striker Nico Claesen and Belgian youth international goalkeeper Jonathan De Bie about Jan’s achievement in Saturday’s official matchday programme for the visit of AFC Bournemouth.