Step at a time for Jan
11 June 2014|Tottenham Hotspur
Jan Vertonghen insists Belgium will take it step-by-step at their first World Cup since 2002.
The Red Devils are many pundits’ ‘dark horses’ for the tournament in Brazil, a view reflected in their standing as fifth favourites behind the hosts, Argentina, Spain and Germany.
An outstanding, unbeaten qualifying campaign - eight wins in 10 - secured Belgium’s place in the finals and they boast a wealth of talent including Spurs trio Jan, Nacer Chadli and Mousa Dembele, City skipper Vincent Kompany, United pair Marouane Fellaini and Adnan Januzaj, Eden Hazard and Romalu Lukaku of Chelsea, Everton winger Kevin Mirallas and goalkeeper Thibault Courtois, who won La Liga and reached the Champions League Final with Atletic Madrid while on loan from Chelsea.
Belgium take on Nabil Bentaleb’s Algeria, Russia and South Korea in Group H, kicking-off against Algeria in Belo Horizonte on Tuesday.
“We all want to do well,” Jan told us before joining up with the squad. “Everyone says we can win it, but we are not favourites at all in my opinion.
“We have a nice team with good players who have settled well in the Premier League and some other of the best leagues, but it’s wrong to see us as favourites if you compare us to other teams.
“I think people look at us now because we’ve got some players who are doing well in the big leagues.
"That’s good, Belgium is climbing and we want to do well in the group stage, we want to go through to the next round and then we might play Germany or Portugal. It will be hard enough to get through the group stage.
“It’s a dream to go to the World Cup and makes us all very proud.”