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Belgium announce preliminary squad for Euro 2016; confirm Eden Hazard as team captain

David Ramos/Getty Images

The Belgian national team announced today their preliminary squad of 24 players for the European Championships that will take place in France next month. And, given the absence of team captain and Manchester City defender Vincent Kompany due to a muscle strain, they have also confirmed that Chelsea attacking midfielder Eden Hazard will be the captain for Belgium in the tournament.

Time for the Eden Hazard, "captain, leader, legend-in-the-making" experiment!

"Vincent Kompany's absence is sad for him and for the team. He's a leader. He will not be part of the staff. In Vincent Kompany's absence, Eden Hazard will be our captain."

-Marc Wilmots; Source: ESPN FC

Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois is also included in the list after returning to the national team in March in a 2-1 friendly loss to Portugal. Courtois missed call-ups in October and November last year due to a knee injury.

Other Premier League players in the squad are Liverpool's Simon Mignolet, Divock Origi and Christian Benteke; Tottenham Hotspur's Jan Vertonghen, Toby Alderweireld and Mousa Dembélé; Manchester United's Marouane Fellaini, as well as Chelsea's old acquaintances in Manchester City's Kevin de Bruyne and Everton's Romelu Lukaku.  Second sibling Thorgan Hazard is on the standby list.

The 24-man squad will be pared down to the maximum allowed 23 in the next week or so.  Wonder who will be the unlucky boy to miss out?

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