Belgium internationalist Jan Vertonghen has hailed Celtic defender Dedryck Boyata as ‘immense’ and insists he is looking forward to returning to an iconic Hampden stadium.

Tottenham centre-half Vertonghen lined up alongside his fellow countryman at the World Cup finals in Russia during the summer as Boyata made three starts in the group stages before Belgium eventually finished third in the tournament.

Boyata’s form led to interest from English Premier League newcomers Fulham during the summer and the 27-year-old faced a backlash from Celtic fans after making himself unavailable for Brendan Rodgers’ team at the start of the season.

The former Manchester City centre half has since returned to the Hoops side and Vertonghen, who has 108 caps, is in no doubt over the player's quality.

He said: “He has been with us for a while now, he is a great defender and a very smart guy.

“He had a great World Cup, he played because of injury but he showed Belgium and the world how good a defender he is and he was immense for us.

“The atmosphere in the squad is great, we were in a great way at the World Cup and we want to continue.

“The memories of the World Cup are still vivid, especially when you get back with the guys, that’s the last thing we experienced together and it was a good one.

“We’ve got world class players and it’s a very good group and the fact we’ve experienced some success now is good for the spirit.”

Vertonghen captained Belgium to a 2-0 World Cup qualifying win at Hampden five years ago and amid uncertainty over the future of Scotland's national football stadium, the 31-year-old insists he enjoyed the experience of playing at the 52,000 capacity arena.

He added: “It was a big game for us just before the World Cup, a very important qualifier.

“It was a tough one, a tough place to go and a great atmosphere.

“The Scottish players are very aggressive in a positive way and I expect a big game again.

“I don’t know the Scottish football culture enough to judge about the stadium, I just remember it as a great football stadium and the Scottish teams have a couple of more but Hampden is definitely an iconic stadium and I had a great time there.”

Vertonghen, meanwhile, admits he can understand why Scotland manager Alex McLeish has chosen Liverpool wing-back Andy Robertson as the country’s next captain.

He added: “He had a great season last season, was massive for Liverpool and has started this season again very well. He is very attacking and a good offensive player.

“Defensively he is looking very strong as well, it’s good for him that he’s captain of Scotland and he has a great future ahead.”