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Alderweireld wary of Wales and Bale

Toby Alderweireld is expecting a sterner test from Wales in their Euro 2016 quarter-final on Friday than that provided by Hungary in Toulouse.

Alderweireld opened the scoring early on against Bernd Storck’s men before Belgium, inspired by captain Eden Hazard, ended any hopes of a Hungary comeback with three goals in the final 15 minutes.

They now meet Wales in Lille and Tottenham defender Alderweireld is anticipating a closer contest against Gareth Bale and Co.

He said: “I think we’re getting better now, improving with every game. That was another good win, but we have done anything yet.

“We are in the quarter-finals and we have to work hard to proceed, because Wales are going to be tough opponents.

“It was a wonderful win against Hungary. People expect a lot from Belgium and we had a bit of pressure on our shoulders after the first game when we lost [to Italy].”

Bale is joint top scorer at Euro 2016 with three goals and Alderweireld is a fan of the Real Madrid man.

“Yes, he’s one of the best players in the world, with his all round game,” he said. “He is great at everything. Wales are better than Hungary so it’s going to be tough to go through.”

Much will depend on whether Belgium captain Hazard can maintain the form he showed against Hungary on Sunday.

The Chelsea winger made one for Michy Batshuayi and scored another in a magnificent performance which earned him the man of the match award.

“It was his best game for Belgium,” said Alderweireld. “His confidence is growing, he’s working hard to show what he can do and help the team and I think he was fantastic.

“When he plays like that he’s one of the best players in the world – he can compete with anyone. Hopefully he can keep this level up in this tournament.”

Belgium boss Marc Wilmots says Hazard does his talking with his feet and Alderweireld admitted he had a different style of captaincy to regular skipper Vincent Kompany, who is sidelined through injury.

“It’s more what he does during the game,” added the former Southampton man. “When something important happens he will come and say something, but not as much as Kompany.”

Mon 27 Jun, 2016
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