Belgium captain Kompany ready to face Russia

Belgium captain Vincent Kompany has declared himself fit to face Russia in FIFA World Cup Group H.

Kompany missed training on Thursday due to a groin strain - something to raise particular alarm as the Manchester City centre-back spent two significant spells on the sidelines last season due to similar complaints.

But the 28-year-old told a press conference on Saturday that he expects to play against Fabio Capello's team at the Maracana on Sunday.

"I'm feeling good," he said. "I followed an individual training program and will train with the team today. Assuming (there are) no issues today, I will be available tomorrow.

"It's a World Cup and every match is important. In the worst case scenario, there's plenty of players to step in. Either way, I feel good."

Widely tipped to make a big impression in Brazil before the tournament, Belgium's gifted squad put in a largely disjointed performance before coming from behind to beat Algeria 2-1 in their opening match.

But Kompany, fresh from winning a second Premier League title in three seasons with City, pointed to the struggles endured by a number of leading nations during the opening stages of an unpredictable competition and insisted points are paramount.

"We’re not going to prove ourselves in terms of style," he said. "We'll prove ourselves in terms of results.

"Other sides including Spain, Italy and Brazil have all shown issues in group stage. All in good time. 

"I have come here for one reason and one reason alone – to achieve great results. 

"The press will big up every team and it changes every day. People refer to Belgium as a good side but there is only one winner at the end."

Belgium coach Marc Wilmots scored the decisive goal when Belgium beat Russia 3-2 during their last World Cup appearance in 2002, before bowing out to eventual winners Brazil in the round of 16.

Nevertheless, Wilmots believes the current group are beyond comparison with the team he played in - doing little to quell the heady expectations Kompany referred to.

"We have prepared as well as possible and this is a team that can write history," he said. "We will then look ahead four years and try to do the same preparation.

"Twelve years ago we had a team that couldn't be compared with what we have now. We are one win away from progressing to the next round.”


SHARES
comments