Roberto Martinez has confirmed his decision to step down from his position as the manager of the Belgium national team after they faced a disappointing and defeating exit from the 2022 edition of the FIFA World Cup.
The Spanish football coach was the manager of the Belgian red devils and was in charge of them for the past six years. He was also behind Belgium’s successful spree in Russia’s 2018 FIFA World Cup, where they ranked third. He was beside their side when the red devils’ ‘Golden Generation’ were at the peak of a three-and-a-half-year run as FIFA’s number 1 ranked team.
Belgium had catastrophic World Cup campaign
But the Qatar edition of the World Cup has been one of their most disappointing and defeating tournaments in recent times, where they faced a massive defeat to Morocco, a team of underdogs, and had a draw with Croatia, which stopped them from progressing to the knockouts and made sure that they got eliminated in the group stages itself.
All this depressing air surrounding the aging ‘Golden Generation’ and their dismaying performance has compelled the former Everton boss to walk away from the Belgian front.
“Yes, that was my last game with the national team,” he said. “This is emotional, as you can imagine. I can’t carry on, sorry.”
The Spaniard was also asked if he was sorry to leave on a disappointing note with a sour tinge to his departure. To its response, he added: “I never look at it that way. I’m a person who likes to build things.
“I’ve been six years with the national team for. I arrived with a clear job of qualifying for the World Cup…And then we finished with a bronze medal (at Russia 2018), and it felt that we had to give it another go, and it’s been a real joy.”
In their final match against Croatia earlier, the Belgians could have had a decisive victory if not for the injury-stricken substitute Romelu Lukaku, who failed to convert the ample number of chances into goals that came his way in the second half.
The match ended with a draw, which wasn’t enough for Belgium to qualify for the round of 16 after the depressing tournament they had. Croatia progressed in their stead.
Martinez spoke about his feelings about the defeat to Morocco, who went on to top the table, and if he had any regrets,
“It’s not easy to win games in the World Cup…we had a deserved defeat in our second game..we created opportunities, and today there is no regret. We’re out, but we can leave with our heads held high…the golden generation is doing something that is bringing the next generation on; the legacy can be left in many ways.”