Belgium coach Roberto Martinez has confirmed he will step down from his post
Belgium exited the group stage after a 0-0 draw with Croatia and finished third behind Croatia and group winners Morocco. A win in the final group game will be enough to send Belgium through to the last 16.
“My situation is very clear. This is the end for me,” Martinez told a news conference.
“Whatever the outcome of this tournament, I made my decision before the World Cup. Everything is in the long term. From 2018 I can hold many jobs. I’m not giving up, this is just the way it ends.’
Belgium missed numerous chances to score against Croatia which would have taken them to the knockout stages. The 0-0 draw ended a disappointing season in which they managed just one goal in three games and made more headlines for their reported off-pitch brawls than their on-pitch football.
Martinez took over management of Belgium in 2016, replacing Marc Wilmots. The Spaniard – a former manager of Everton, Wigan Athletic and Swansea City – led the so-called ‘golden generation’ of Belgian talent to third place at the 2018 World Cup and a quarter-final elimination at Euro 2020.
Belgium is competing 2nd at the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
“We are very disappointed after our national team was eliminated early from the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 because we failed and disappointed Belgium who have supported our team all this time,” said the Royal Belgian Association (RBFA). ). said in a statement.
“We thank Roberto Martinez for everything he has achieved with this golden generation, both as coach and as technical director: four consecutive years of number one in the FIFA rankings, bronze medal at the 2018 World Cup, qualification for Euro 2021. UEFA, UEFA Nations League Final Four in 2021 and the World Cup in 2022,” said CEO Peter Bossart.
“Roberto left a great legacy with his team for the next generation of Belgian football.
“Not only by introducing modern structures for analysis, training and search, but also by starting preparations for the next step in a player’s career with the aim of becoming a coach.” But his contribution to the expansion of the new, state-of-the-art Tubiz Football Center has also been enormous.
Finally, we thank him for the family atmosphere he brought to our home and for being a great ambassador for Belgian football. He will be sorely missed by all of the RBFA staff. We wish Roberto Martinez every success in the future.”