Roberto Martinez is “a contender for the job in Portugal” despite Belgium’s dismal World Cup performance.
Roberto Martinez has reportedly emerged as a contender for the vacant post in Portugal despite overseeing Belgium’s disappointing World Cup campaign in Qatar.
Martinez was on the Portuguese Football Federation’s radar in their search for a new head coach, the Telegraph reported.
The Spaniard could be forced to choose between returning to the top management or remaining in international football.
Roberto Martinez (pictured) is reportedly a contender for the vacant position of Portugal manager
Martinez’s deal with Belgium was officially finalized at the end of December after six years of service.
During his time as Belgium coach, Martinez led the nation to their best World Cup finish, finishing third in Russia in 2018.
Belgium were eliminated by eventual champions Italy in the quarter-finals at Euro 2020 before leading the team at the World Cup in Qatar.
Martinez oversaw a disappointing season that saw Belgium fail in the group stage despite entering the tournament as the second-highest team in the world by FIFA.
Martinez has given up his role as Belgium head coach after the disappointing World Cup in Qatar
Belgium’s World Cup campaign in Qatar has been dominated by dissent within the camp
The campaign had been dominated by reports of tensions within camp after Kevin De Bruyne claimed his side were “too old” to go the distance.
Defender Jan Vertonghen appeared to hit back at the comment after the Morocco defeat, claiming: “We’re probably attacking badly too because we’re too old, that’s got to be it now, sure?”
Martinez hit back at allegations of divisions within the squad last month when he revealed he had informed players of his post-tournament decision to leave ahead of their final group stage game against Croatia.
Despite a string of star names and poor performances on the field, it resulted in an embarrassing early exit for a top-flight side.
Fernando Santos was removed from his post following Portugal’s quarter-final elimination against Morocco
Martinez was seen by some as underperforming as his tenure coincided with a so-called ‘golden generation’ of Belgian talent.
Since taking the job, players like Kevin de Bruyne, Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Dries Mertens, Thibaut Courtois and Thomas Meunier have all been in their prime and represented strongly.
Martinez claimed last month he wanted to rest with his family before deciding his next steps, but admitted he would be open to talks from January.
When asked about a return to club or national team management, the 49-year-old has admitted he has concrete plans.
Martinez last coached a club side when he was in charge of Everton, having previously been with Wigan and Swansea in the Premier League.
Since leaving the Belgium job, Martinez has been linked to the Club Brugge job, which has since been taken over by Scott Parker, as well as international roles in Mexico and Poland.
A return to Everton was also under consideration should the ailing Premier League side sack pressured boss Frank Lampard.
Martinez has been linked with multiple roles since leaving the Belgium post last month
Portugal are among the nations looking for a new coach after the World Cup, having parted ways with Fernando Santos and ending an eight-year stint with the national team where he won Euro 2016 and the 2019 Nations League.
The Portuguese ended his tenure as coach following Portugal’s quarter-final defeat by Morocco and his decision to bench captain Cristiano Ronaldo for both knockout games.
Jose Mourinho, Andre Villas-Boas and Paulo Fonseca have been linked with the job.
Should Portugal choose Martinez as Santos’ successor, it would mean a departure from their usual approach of appointing local or Brazilian coaches.
Brazilians Otto Gloria and Luiz Felipe Scolari are the only non-Portuguese coaches to have filled the role.
The Belgian FA are looking for Martinez’s replacement after the organization placed an advertisement for his replacement.
The ad said the FA wanted to hire a manager who was “extremely ambitious” and had “experience managing top players”.
Martinez’s assistant coach, Thierry Henry, has reportedly told the Belgian Football Association that he wants to succeed him as national team head coach.
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-11609171/Roberto-Martinez-contender-Portugal-job-despite-Belgiums-dismal-World-Cup-showing.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Roberto Martinez is “a contender for the job in Portugal” despite Belgium’s dismal World Cup performance.