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Belgium’s Martinez refuses to talk about his future after their exit

Sat 03 July 2021 | 12:05

The Belgium national team manager was quizzed about his future after their 2-1 quarter-final defeat at the hands of Italy on Friday.

Belgium

boss

Roberto Martinez

did not talk about his future following their elimination from Euro 2020 at the hands of the Azzurri, saying that the situation is “too raw”.

Italy

reserved a place in the semi-finals and will go against Spain following vanquishing Belgium 2-1 on Friday.

Nicolo Barella and Lorenzo Insigne scored for the Azzurri, but Belgium tried to push back through

Romelu Lukaku

’s penalty.

Notwithstanding their effort, Belgium, who were one of the favorites to win Euro 2020, exited the tournament like in 2016.

Martinez was the subject of attention as he is targeted for a return to club management.

"

Well, obviously, this is a moment that is very, very difficult to speak anything else than the defeat and that we are out of the Euros,"

Martinez said.

"As I say, at the moment, it's still too raw. And I do not want to say anything that it could be [seen as] emotional.

"At the moment, all I want to do is look back into this tournament and I would say that the players have done nothing wrong. It is the opposite.

"They did everything they could to get us as far as we can [at Euro 2020]. And now is the time to analyse and to assess. But, at the moment, the feelings of disappointment and sadness, unfortunately, is

<em>

what is in my head now."

Belgium have gone against Italy at World Cup and Euros without a win more than any other team (five).

Lukaku have met the back of the net more than any other Belgium player at the Euros (six) and the World Cup (five).

He found the target 24 times in his last 23 games for his country.

"

The feelings are what you can imagine, really - sadness and disappointment - because I do not think these players deserve to be out of this tournament,"

said Martinez.

"They have done an incredible job to be prepared to be ready to go step-by-step every day, from the beginning of the tournament. And unfortunately, today [Friday], we faced a very good side [Italy]. I thought it was two very good teams in this knockout phase. And, unfortunately, the margins did not go in our favour."

Kevin De Bruyne featured for his side despite an ankle knock, but Eden Hazard had to be sidelined given his hamstring injury.

"

The situation with Axel [Witsel] and Kevin [De Bruyne] and Eden [Hazard] going into the tournament, I think we managed it very, very well and you could see the attitude of those players,"

Martinez added.

"They started to grow into the tournament and they have been a real bonus. They really helped us from the moment that they could be on the pitch.

"Obviously, injuries happen and it is unfortunate that Eden could not be on the pitch with us [against Italy]. But it was exemplary to see Kevin De Bruyne getting through whatever he would, to get 90 minutes with his national team and showing that he was ready to help the group.

"So, I think, for every 'Red Devil' fan, there is a real pride and understanding that these players did everything they could to try to get what we wanted to get. And unfortunately today, we faced a very good team [Italy] and, with two good teams, the small margins went for them. And that is a small difference and that happens in football."


source: SportMob