Martinez previously held a similar position with Belgium. The Red Devils entered the 2022 World Cup ranked second in the world by FIFA. They were also one of the favorites to take home the title. Belgium was filled with stars from top to bottom. Kevin De Bruyne, Eden Hazard, Thibaut Courtois, and Youri Tielemans headlined a powerhouse lineup. However, the Belgians failed to advanced passed the Group Stage.
Belgium bounced early from World Cup
The Spanish coach left his role as head coach of the Belgium team following the disappointing tournament. Martinez spoke on his decision soon after his World Cup hopes ended. “I arrived with the clear idea of qualifying for the (2018) World Cup. Then we became so engaged with the project and won the bronze medal,” said the coach.
“I’m so proud of these players,” Martinez continued. “It has been amazing. Six years where we’ve been able to do everything you want to do … (and) the team has played has given people real joy. But this is the time for me to accept (it is over).”
Former Everton boss takes over for Santos
Martinez will now take over Portugal from Fernando Santos. The Portuguese coach previously guided the team to the 2016 Euro title. Nevertheless, Santos was dismissed by Portugal following the team’s exit from the World Cup. Santos took Portugal to the quarterfinals of the tournament in Qatar, but ultimately fell to Morocco 1-0.
Martinez supposedly had plenty of offers on the table from a plethora of teams around the world. However, it appears as if he has chosen the Portugal job. And it’s not a bad gig. A Seleção are currently ranked ninth in the world and have an extremely talented team. Rafael Leao, Bernardo Silva, Joao Felix, and Bruno Fernandes will give Martinez some mouthwatering attacking options.
Photo: IMAGO / Bildbyran
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