Breaking: Martinez resigns as Belgium boss after early elimination
Croatia advanced to the World Cup round of 16 after a goalless draw against Belgium on Thursday as the Red Devils suffered a shock elimination from Qatar 2022. Belgium boss Roberto Martinez confirms his departure after Qatar 2022 disappointment.
needed to beat Croatia to progress past the group stages but failed to find the back of the net and was knocked out of the World Cup.Croatia
finished in second place after Morocco in Group F with five points.
Belgium bossRoberto Martinez
confirmed his departure after Belgium’s early elimination from the World Cup.
Martinez toldBBC Sport
at his post-match press conference:
"That was my last game for the national team and it was emotional. I can't carry on, sorry.
"This was the end, whether we won or went out in the group. It has nothing to do with being eliminated at this stage.
"I'm someone who likes to build things. For six years, I've been here with the objective to reach the World Cup and win it. We won the bronze medal in 2018 and gave it another go. It's been a real joy.
"We've built a legacy. I know people will see it a different way, but I'm so proud. Looking at the dressing room now, we have youngsters who can now be starters.
"It's been six amazing years that we've been able to do everything you want to do with a club at a national team.
"I've loved the way this team has played and given everyone incredible joy. The fans in Belgium have appreciated this. It's now time for me to accept this is the last game.
"I've always wanted to be loyal and finish the job. I'm not resigning, it's the end of my contract. This was always the plan."
However, Martinez believes a bright future awaits the young Belgium side. He added:
"You see players like Youri Tielemans, players like Amadou Onana and Jeremy Doku.
"It's not necessarily what names are on the pitch, the legacy can be left in many ways.
"Today, we are out of a big tournament, and now the standards need to carry on rising, the young players need to carry on this line.
"We wanted to get through, but I'm sure the other national teams wanted to get through too. That's a tournament, and you are in the best tournament in the world.
"In the previous one [in 2018], we won all three group games and it wasn't in enough go all the way. For me, it's the same feeling. Today, it was a way of losing that you can accept."
confirmed Martinez's comments in an official statement that reads:
"With his team Roberto left an immense legacy for the next Belgian football generations.
"Not only by introducing a modern structure on analysis, education and scouting but also by initiating the preparation for the next step in the careers of the players aiming to become a coach. But also his contribution to the expansion of the brand-new and state-of-the-art Football centre in Tubize was huge.
"Last but not least we thank him for the familiar atmosphere he brought into our house and for being a great ambassador for Belgian football. The full staff of the RBFA will miss him a lot. We wish Roberto Martínez the best of luck for the future.”
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