Belgian captain Vincent Kompany was hailed as courageous by coach Marc Wilmots on Saturday after playing a good part of their 2014 World Cup qualifier with Serbia with mild concussion, a broken nose and a fractured eye socket.
The 27-year-old - also club captain of 2012 Premier League champions Manchester City - suffered the multiple injuries in the first-half of the 2-1 win when he clashed with Serbian goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic.
Kompany, though, played on after receiving intensive treatment for several minutes and helped to pull off a victory that sees Belgium top their group and within sight of their first appearance at a major finals since the 2002 World Cup.
Medical scans on Saturday confirmed the injuries suffered by Kompany.
"All my players pushed themselves to the limit to achieve this win," said Wilmots.
"Their performance was reflected by Vincent, who showed extraordinary courage.
"That says it all about the spirit of the guys," added Wilmots, capped 70 times and who appeared in four World Cup finals with his biggest haul three goals in the 2002 renewal.
Belgium top the group with a three point lead over Croatia, who were surprisingly beaten 1-0 by previously winless Scotland.