Coach of Belgium’s national football team, Roberto Martinez has resigned following their World Cup elimination on Thursday.
The Red Devils were knocked out of the competition after being held to a 0-0 draw by Croatia in their final Group F match.
Martinez confirmed that it was an “emotional” moment for him as he prepared to part ways with the national side after six years in charge.
Speaking at his post-match press conference, Martinez said: “That was my last game with the national team and it was emotional as you can imagine.
“I always work towards long-term projects and they need to be set in advance. That was always the plan.”
In a tweet by the Belgium FA shortly after the match, they confirmed that Martinez had already made the decision to step down prior to the World Cup commencing in November.
The 65-year-old Spaniard had coached Belgium since 2016 and during his tenure, led them to the World Cup semi-finals in 2018 in Russia and the Euro quarter-finals in 2021.
Belgium needed a win over Croatia to stand a chance of progressing in Qatar but failed to score and were held to a 0-all draw.
Reflecting on the result, Martinez said: “It’s not easy to win games in the World Cup. We weren’t ourselves in the first game, we had a deserved defeat in the second game.
“Today we were ready, we created opportunities and today, there are no regrets. We’re out but we can leave with our heads held high.”
Martinez will now step down from the fourth job of his managerial career having had stints in charge of English clubs , Swansea, Wigan and Everton, and Belgium’s Red Devils national team.
Writing by Fany Olumoye ; Editing by Omotola Oguneye and Tony Okerafor