Belgium Coach Roberto Martinez Steps Down After World Cup Exit

Coach of Belgium Roberto Martinez during the FIFA World Cup 2022
Coach of Belgium Roberto Martinez during the FIFA World Cup 2022. Photo by JEAN CATUFFE/DPPI/Shutterstock (13635931as)

Roberto Martinez has announced his decision to step down from his role as Belgium’s head coach following his team’s elimination from the World Cup during the group stage. The team failed to qualify for the knockout rounds after drawing 0-0 with Croatia.

“My situation is very clear. This is the end for me,” Martinez announced at a news conference. “Whatever the result of this tournament, I took the decision before the World Cup. It’s all about the long term. Since 2018, I could have taken many jobs. I don’t resign, it’s just ending like this.”

Had the Belgians scored one of their many close opportunities against Croatia, they would have been able to progress to the knockout stages. Ultimately, the failure to score was another obstacle in what was a challenge-riddled World Cup campaign For Belgium which included several off-field squabbles.

Since being appointed as Belgium’s head coach in 2016, Martinez led the nation to obtain the bronze medal at the 2018 World Cup and four consecutive years as number-one on the FIFA world rankings.

According to Martinez, the team’s “golden generation” does seem to be at an end, however, he believes that the nurturing of a fresh young generation could develop a bright future for Belgian football.