'Sensational' Vertonghen closing on Belgium caps record

The Tottenham defender is set to become his country's all-time leading appearance-maker, prompting Roberto Martinez to hail his leadership qualities

Roberto Martinez has hailed Jan Vertonghen as "sensational", with the Tottenham defender set to break the Belgium caps record at the age of 30.

Vertonghen is on 95 caps for his country ahead of Saturday's away World Cup qualifying game against Bosnia-Herzegovina and the home match against Cyprus on October 10.

Belgium 8/5 v Bosnia and Herzegovina

Belgium's national record holder is Jan Ceulemans with 96, so the Spurs centre-back will equal and then break the record in this international break if he plays in both games.

At a time where Vincent Kompany's persistent injury woes continue to trouble the national team, the Manchester City defender having had to leave the squad, Martinez hailed Vertonghen's track record.

"There's been a lot of talk about this golden generation, but it's important we can have leadership and personality creating a team," the Belgium boss said, as quoted by Sky Sports.

"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."

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Belgium are already assured of winning Group H, making them the first team to seal a place in the tournament in Russia from the UEFA qualifying groups.

Vertonghen has been an ever-present for Tottenham in the Premier League so far this season.

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