Belgium’s National Team coach Roberto Martinez is leaving after Thursday’s World Cup exit.
“That was my last game for the national team,” the Spaniard said after a 0-0 draw with Croatia knocked the team out.
During the 2018 World Cup, Martinez coached Belgium to third place. During his six-year tenure, he was in charge.
“Before the World Cup,” Martinez said, he decided to leave.
“I’m always thinking long-term. He fought back the tears, saying, “I’m in it for the long run.”. “I had many opportunities to leave and take jobs at the club.”. However, I wanted to stay.
“I’m not resigning,” Martinez said. It’s the end of my contract.”
The exit of Martinez coincides with the breakup of Belgium’s “Golden Generation,” including Kevin De Bruyne, Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku, and Dries Mertens.
FIFA ranked the team No. 1 for four years during Martinez’s tenure, but they never won anything.
“I like to build stuff,” he said. It was clear to me that I had to qualify for the World Cup and play in it. When we finished with the bronze medal, I felt I had to give it another try.
Having an incredible legacy has been an absolute joy. Some people don’t see a legacy until they win a major tournament. “I see it differently.”
He played and coached in England before Belgium hired him in 2016.
Besides coaching, Martinez was named technical director by the Belgian soccer federation in 2020, giving him more managerial responsibilities.
Peter Bossaert, CEO of the Belgian soccer federation, said: “We thank Roberto Martnez for all he did with this Golden Generation.” “Roberto left a huge legacy for future generations of Belgian football.”