◤FIFA World Cup in Qatar◢ Roberto Martínez to step down from Belgium national team head coach position as his contract expired..2022-12-02 10:10
Belgium national team head coach Roberto Martínez announced on Thursday that he would step down from all positions and leave the team, ending his six-year career in coaching the European Red Devils.
Martínez announced his stepping down after Belgium's 0-0 draw with Croatia in the group stage which confirmed their exit from the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
He said that he had already decided before the tournament to leave the team after the end of the World Cup, and having tried his best but still failed to lead Belgium progress from the group stage this time, it highlighted that his decision to step down was correct .
When asked by reporters after the game, Martínez said: "Yes, this is the last time I'm managing the team. 6 years have passed. I came here with the clear idea of participating in the (2018) World Cup qualifiers. Then we got really into this tournament and won the bronze medal. I'm so proud of this group of players."
"It feels amazing. We've done a lot of everything you want to do for six years, and the team's performances have given people real joy, but it's time for me to accept that it's coming to an end. "
"It's not that I'm resigning, it's that my contract is over. Since 2018, I've had many opportunities to leave and take over at club level, but I want to stay loyal."
The 49-year-old Martínez played as a defensive midfielder during his playing career and was a star of two EFL Championship clubs, Wigan Athletic and Swansea City. After retiring in 2007, Martínez started his coaching career in Swansea City and led the team to win the EFL League One title in the 2007/08 season.
In the summer of 2009, Martínez joined Wigan Athletic as head coach. The most admirable thing is that in the 2012/13 season, although he could not help the club avoid relegation from the Premier League, he successfully won the FA Cup in that season, helping the club qualify for the Europa League for the first time ever in their history.
In the summer of 2013, Martínez was appointed as the head coach of Everton, but after the club fell into the relegation zone of the Premier League due to their subsequent decline, he was sacked in May 2016.
Three months later, since August of the same year, Martínez began to take over as head coach of the Belgium national team and successfully nurture the "Golden Generation" such as Romelu Lukaku, Hazard brothers, Kevin De Bruyne, Axel Witsel, Divock Origi, Michy Batshuayi, Leandro Trossard, Charles de Ketelaere and may more, led the team to the first-place in FIFA coeffeficient rankings for many time, and also won the third place in the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
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