The Spanish born Roberto Martinez has confirmed he is stepping down as the head coach of Belgium national team following the unexpected exist of the World Cup group stages. Martinez joined Belgium in 2016 from English Premier League side Everton.
The 49-year-old was in charge of 80 matches for Belgium announced his contract will not be renewed after his team play a goalless draw against Croatia at Ahmad bin Ali stadium last night. Martinez recorded a total of 56 wins and 11 defeat since he takes charge of Belgium.
Martinez guided Belgium to their best ever World Cup in 2018 after they finished in third place in Russia. They ended the tournament as top scorers with what has been considered a “golden generation” for the country.
Two years later, the Belgian sides failed to build on that success and were knocked out of Euro 2020 in the quarter-finals by Italy.
Belgium, also known as, the Red Devils arrived in Qatar second in the FIFA rankings but suffered a shock defeat to Morocco and a goalless draw against Croatia saw them eliminated in the group stages for the first time since 1998.
Looking at his time with Belgium, Martinez focused on the positives but said he had to accept his time as a manager was over.
“Yes, that was my last game. It has been six years,” he told reporters.
“I arrived with the clear idea of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup. Then we became so engaged with the project and won a bronze medal. I’m so proud of these players. It has been amazing.
“It has been six years where we’ve been able to do everything you want to do. The team has played and given people real joy. But this the time for me to accept [ it is over]. I don’t resign. It’s the end of my contract.
“Since 2018 I had many opportunities to leave and take jobs and club level, but I wanted to stay loyal,” he concluded.
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