Tuesday, October 16, 2018

We are 100 per cent ready for World Cup – Belgium boss Martinez sees progress

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 11 Jun 2018

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Roberto Martinez declared Belgium “ready for the World Cup” after they wrapped up their preparations for Russia with a 4-1 victory over Costa Rica.

Romelu Lukaku scored twice as the Red Devils overcame the setback of conceding the opening goal to run out comfortable winners in Brussels on Monday.

Dries Mertens and Michy Batshuayi also grabbed goals for Belgium, who open their Group G campaign against Panama in Sochi on June 18.

Having drawn 0-0 in a friendly with Portugal on June 2, Martinez felt the display against Costa Rica demonstrated how his squad are coming together nicely ahead of the tournament.

“We are 100 per cent ready for that first game,” the Spaniard told the media.

“You saw the differences with the first match against Portugal – for example, the interaction between [Eden] Hazard and Mertens was much better. 

“We have worked every day to make progress, but we also need to grow in those three group games. Only then will we be able to see exactly how far we stand. 

“But I can already say that we are ready for the World Cup.”

The only concern for the hosts was the sight of Hazard limping off in the second half, though Martinez confirmed after the game the Chelsea playmaker was withdrawn having taken a kick on the leg.

After facing Panama, Belgium take on Tunisia in Moscow on June 23 before meeting England five days later in Kaliningrad.

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