Belgium confirm Kevin De Bruyne as new captain following Eden Hazard's retirement

Kevin De Bruyne Belgium Wales 2022-23Getty Images
  • Hazard retired after World Cup
  • De Bruyne picked as the new skipper
  • Courtois & Lukaku named vice-captains

WHAT HAPPENED? Eden Hazard decided to retire from international football after Belgium's premature exit from the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, which also marked the end of former coach Roberto Martinez's reign, and his successor Domenico Tedesco was then tasked with selecting a new leader for the Red Devils. The 37-year-old manager has confirmed De Bruyne as Belgium's new skipper ahead of their Euro 2024 qualifying campaign, with the Manchester City star boasting 97 caps for his country and 25 goals at international level.

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WHAT THEY SAID: "It's an honour for me to be named and represent the country in this way," De Bruyne told RTL-TVI television after the announcement.

"I'm almost 32. I've never considered international retirement. I think I can still bring something to the table and help the youngsters."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and Inter forward Romelu Lukaku have been chosen as the two vice-captains. De Bruyne has already led Belgium on several occasions previously, including against Croatia in their final group-stage game of the 2022 World Cup.


Kevin De Bruyne Belgium World Cup 2022Getty ImagesEden Hazard Belgium 2022 World CupGettyThibaut Courtois Belgium 2022Getty Images

WHAT NEXT? De Bruyne's era as the full-time Belgian captain will start on Friday against Sweden in a 2024 European Championship Qualifier.