Mogi das Cruzes: Belgium captain Vincent Kompany missed training on Thursday because of a groin strain, three days ahead of his team’s Group H game against Russia.
Kompany stands at the heart of the Belgium defence and missing the Manchester City stalwart would be a big handicap for the Belgians.
Coach Marc Wilmots called it a “slight” strain, saying Kompany was working on an individual program with the medical staff. “I’m counting on him to be there for the next game,” said defender Thomas Vermaelen.
Playmaker Eden Hazard, however, returned to training and showed no ill effects from a toe contusion sustained in Tuesday’s match vs Algeria.
Wilmots, though, has high regards for Eden. “He (Eden) can be one of the five best players in the world. He has everything he needs,” the coach recently said.
As for the player himself, he prefers to keep a low profile. “Well, I never like to talk about myself in that way because, to be honest, I don’t think I deserve it at the moment,” Eden told the Fifa website.
“To be thought of as one of the best five in the world, I would need to score more goals for a start.
“I would really need to score at almost every game because that is what the best players in the world — like (Lionel) Messi and (Cristiano) Ronaldo — do every season. These are the guys everyone else has to aim for.
To be on the top, it’s important to strive for more and for the better, Eden emphasised. “I can definitely play better and we can also excel further as a group.”