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Martinez leaves Belgium post

2022 FIFA World Cup: Belgium boss Martinez steps down after team's early exit

December 1, 2022 By Michelle Bonsu
The Spanish tactician has resigned after Belgium's early exit from the World Cup.

Coming into this competition, Belgium were ranked as the second best team in the world as per FIFA's most recent list. That's despite the Red Devils never winning a major trophy, and in fact, they were even ranked as the top team in the world in spite of their empty trophy cabinet.

Not surprisingly, with some of the stars in their ranks, there were high expectations about this Belgium side, who finished in third spot four years ago.

However, it wasn't to be. Despite beating Canada 1-0, Belgium never really appeared to be a cohesive, confident team and after losing 2-0 to Morocco, their progression chances appeared in doubt.

A draw with Croatia on matchday three effectively condemned them to an early exit, a rather shocking outcome for the team's so-called "Golden Generation" and subsequently, Roberto Martinez was quick to tender his resignation after his team's failure to make any inroads.

Martinez leaves the squad after six years at the national team helm, and despite not winning any trophies, he helped guide the Red Devils to a third placed finish at the 2018 World Cup as well as a quarter-finals berth at EURO 2020.

In his post match conference, the Spanish tactician noted that, "I have no regrets. We can leave the World Cup with our heads held high. Of course, elimination in the group stage is not enough for Belgium. We wanted to push through, but every country wants that".

"It is never easy to win a match at a World Cup. In that first match against Canada we won, but we weren't ourselves. We deservedly lost the second match against Morocco. We weren't ready."

Still, the early exit will really sting for Belgium fans, as it's the first time since 1998 that the Red Devils were not able to get out of their quartet at a World Cup.

Now, the team will need to look forward to the future and try to rebuild an ageing squad that despite plenty of individual talents, were never able to make it work as a unit to win some silverware. 

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