Friday, April 26, 2019

Martinez enjoying ´opportunity of a lifetime´ as Belgium boss

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 18 May 2018

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Roberto Martinez says he is enjoying “the opportunity of a lifetime” at Belgium after signing a new deal as head coach.

The former Everton manager has penned a contract renewal that will keep him as the Red Devils boss until 2020, as he prepares to lead the country into the World Cup.

And Martinez is delighted to be part of the project at Belgium, while insisting his side can still improve after an impressive qualification campaign.

“If you work in the Premier League for seven years and then go to Belgium, you do not do it for money,” he told reporters. “This is about football and my work here is not finished.

“A lot can happen here and there are still many young people who can break through. There is a bigger picture.

“I believe in every aspect of Belgian football. The fans surprised me and the players also want to go for it – they are the ideal ambassadors. I enjoy being part of it.

“This is an opportunity of a lifetime.”

Belgium head to Russia as sixth favourites, but KBVB deputy chairman Bart Verhaeghe still sees the world’s third-ranked team as “outsiders” and would be happy to match their quarter-final finish from four years ago.

“In the end, it is not the coach but his players who are on the field,” he said. “There are larger countries at the World Cup – France, Spain, Germany, Brazil.

“Like Argentina, we are an outsider. I hope we can go to the quarter-finals, but I’m realistic.”

And while Martinez’s assistant Thierry Henry has been linked with the vacant Arsenal job, the coach insists all members of his staff are focused on the task at hand.

“My staff and I are working towards the World Cup,” Martinez added. “We are not yet talking about what happens next.”

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