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Roberto Martinez
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Job xxxx Football Coach
  Belgium Head Coach
Desc Perhaps it’s recency bias due to how shambolic his Everton side were in his final months but Roberto Martinez has a reputation as a charlatan that’s perhaps a little unfair. Not dissimilar to what Eddie Howe is doing now with Bournemouth, Martinez’ Wigan consistently punched above their weight by staying in the Premier League and their aesthetically pleasing football was an added bonus


Club as Coach Belgium National Team [Head Coach]

2016 02 13 Retrieve

[Everton manager Roberto Martinez responding to video of him busting a few moves at a Jason Derulo concert] That was me just warming up…no-one has seen me in full flow yet!

2016 02 13b Retrieve

[Roberto Martinez after 86 per cent of supporters who voted for nine-year-old George Shaw - who has cerebral palsy - to win the club’s goal of the month competition] He is a young man with incredible drive, not allowing any illness or disability to stop him achieving the dream that he wanted and the recognition is genuine recognition from every Everton fan

2016 08 05 Retrieve

[Roberto Martinez speaking at his first press conference as manager of the Belgium national team] I’ve been working with Belgian players and I’ve been intrigued by Belgian football, the talent of the Belgium players is there to be seen. I’m humbled, proud, honoured to be the head coach of Belgium as a country. It will be a special journey together, to support these players that have got the world at their feet

2017 03 25 Retrieve

[Roberto Martinez thinks forward Romelu Lukaku can be the best striker in the world] From a very young age, he had an incredible goalscoring threat. Any footballer that is special at the highest level, has to be outstanding at something. At the age of 23, I always believed he had the possibility of becoming the best No 9 in world football because he has absolutely everything. When you work with Rom, you understand he lives for the games. It’s all about football in his life. He always wants to do more in training. Rom is the goalscoring threat. From the age of 21 to 23, he has changed a lot. He wants to improve, he works on hold-up play and using his body. He has been working on his movement in the box

2017 10 28 Retrieve

[Roberto Martinez talks about the importance of assistant coach Thierry Henry to the squad] He has the know-how and the experience that comes with winning the World Cup, which is priceless for us because we have some mental barriers to break down if we’re going to achieve that

2018 06 09 Retrieve

[Roberto Martinez reveals what his side will need to show in order to succeed at Russia 2018] What is good about this generation is that when they come together, they are a group of players that are prepared to work for each other and be a team. I don’t think we should look any further than what we can achieve as a team and the team is made by outstanding individuals. But that’s probably what we need to work extremely hard in the preparation that we can add all of these individuals to become a strong team without expecting one single player to win a football game because that will never take us to where we want to get

2018 07 07 Retrieve

[Time after time, the Red Devils flew clear on the counter-attack, while the Canarinha, without the suspended Casemiro, were cut apart] I’m the happiest man on earth, I asked the players for a very tough tactical task and the way they believed in it until the last second was incredible

2018 07 09 Retrieve

[Roberto Martinez is surrounded by the faithful staff that served him during his tenures in charge of Swansea City, Wigan Athletic and Everton. The addition of Henry has brought an invaluable insight into how the game operates at the highest level] Me and my technical staff have been working for 12 years together. We have clarity. What we didn’t have is international experience, the knowhow of winning a World Cup and being expected to perform in front of the eyes of the world. Thierry Henry brings that. We cannot follow the path of another Belgian generation who won a World Cup. Thierry Henry brings that [experience] as a footballer of elite thoughts. He was the perfect missing piece in our group

2019 06 09 Retrieve

[Roberto Martinez was pleased Eden Hazard’s big-money transfer to Real Madrid] The atmosphere was great in the stadium. I was a little afraid that the festivities around Eden Hazard would distract, but that was not the case. It’s fantastic for Eden […] I hope he will keep the pleasure of playing and will continue to give pleasure to the fans. It’s great how it has not changed over time.

[Speaking on his side’s victory, Martinez said Belgium ‘imposed our game’ on the Kazakhs] Everything worked well … we must emphasise the seriousness and concentration of the group. Kazakhstan’s performance against Scotland was very strong but they were not allowed to do what they had in mind

[Martinez also reserved special praise for Timothy Castagne] He did what I asked him. His job requires a lot of effort, but he did very well

2019 06 11 Retrieve

[Roberto Martinez says Eden Hazard and Real Madrid are the perfect fit] For Real Madrid, they are getting a phenomenal footballer and for Eden, there couldn’t have been too many new chapters in his career. He always said that he was feeling at home in London with Chelsea so probably it was the only place that he could have gone and the place where he always had the dream of going. I think it is the perfect fit. Everything has been commanded with incredible respect in every party and I think that’s the way things should be done. Now we all look forward to seeing how his new chapter at Real Madrid will start

2019 06 12 Retrieve

[Roberto Martinez paid tribute to Romelu Lukaku following his two-goal display in Belgium’s 3-0 win over Scotland] I appreciated the love fans have shown towards this national team and Romelu in particular. He is a boy who has been very successful these last three seasons. He creates opportunities and scores a lot. I see him very disciplined, and during this international break he has displayed a lot of desire. Sometimes, I’m sad when I see that Romelu does not take advantage of his play on the pitch.

[De Bruyne was the standout performer in the match] It’s not a single player match, everyone contributed to this victory. Kevin did indeed have a big influence, he was both active and patient. But Eden Hazard was also very important, taking responsibility, while Lukaku made the net shake twice. When I see how Thorgan Hazard is progressing - he was not even in the 23 at the beginning of my term - how Thomas Meunier held 90 minutes after Timothy Castagne’s match, I think we have plenty of options, and that’s fine. Do not forget the hard work of the three central defenders, who prevented Scotland from scoring against us

2019 06 12b Retrieve

[Belgium coach Roberto Martinez has revealed what makes Eden Hazard such a formidable prospect on the pitch] He is so short he uses his arse to get out of one-to-one situations that other players cannot. It is his centre of gravity. He’s got bags of quality and a great eye for football; and that allows him to always take the best decisions up front. Another thing he has is that he’s not affected by emotions, not even what people say about him. He is very calm and quiet.

[Martinez has no doubt that Hazard will take Spain by storm] He has evolved a lot, but his biggest progression is in terms of personality. Belgian football has given him a huge responsibility, and he has reacted great to it. Eden was the star, the captain of the team that finished third in the World Cup - and now we know he is ready to lead any project. There are a lot of famous names around, but you have to look into the essence of the footballer, how he influences his team. He is a gem because he has bags of quality and plays within the structure of the team. He is at the same level as Neymar or Mbappe

2019 06 18 Retrieve

[Roberto Martinez urged Romelu Lukaku to leave Manchester United ahead of the new Premier League season to get his career back on track] It is clear that he has to leave Manchester United. It would be a good thing for both parties. It is now important that Romelu finds the right club.

2019 08 27 Retrieve

[Roberto Martinez says that Romelu Lukaku needed to leave Manchester United because he had grown bored at Old Trafford] Romelu needed a new challenge. Sometimes you get bored of a club. Working with Conte will please him and the project of Inter, who will chase the title, is interesting. I saw Lukaku laugh again and it made me happy

[Despite Tottenham’s Jan Vertonghen being frozen out of things at club level, he pledged to call upon the 32-year-old] Jan’s been our most consistent player for the last three years. We’re going to help him get in shape for the matches. He’s not become a poor footballer over the course of the last two months

[Martinez also praised Vincent Kompany, who has been relieved of matchday coaching duties at Anderlecht just four games into the season] He’s already done a fantastic job. Once Nany Dimata or Kemar Roofe is fit and they have a true attacker, I’m sure that things will get better with regards their result. I’ve a lot of respect for the fact that Kompany has taken the young players by the hand and will play at a high level. His return has been courageous

2019 08 30 Retrieve

[Eden Hazard has been named in the Belgium squad for their upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers against San Marino and Scotland] For Eden Hazard, every day will be important regarding his injury. We will not take any risks. This weekend will be important, and we will take a decision afterwards

2019 04 14 Retrieve

[Watford wing wizard Deulofeu showing why he was once called the new Messi] He’s got that talent that you dream to have, he’s got the talent that anyone would pay for a ticket to watch him. [He can be] as good as he wants - that’s a big part.

2019 05 24 Retrieve

[What ex-Arsenal and Barca hero Sylvinho can learn from Henry disaster] He’s a good coach and a great person, he really knows football. I’m sure he’s ready. He will achieve great things. When he was at Inter with me, he did absolutely everything. What struck me most is that he was tactically very prepared. He will opt for an offensive game. Next season, Lyon will play a nice game

2019 09 01 Retrieve

[Roberto Martinez says Romelu Lukaku’s goalscoring record should have earned him more respect in England] Romelu hasn’t been appreciated for most of the time he’s been in the British game. And the reason is very clear. Everyone analyses what he hasn’t got as a number nine. Everyone wants to tell him the first touch should be better, that he should be stronger in the air, that he needs to make more room. But what they miss is his outstanding trade as a goalscorer. Look at his stats. He is one of the most significant scorers at his age. Like any player, if you are going to highlight the things they don’t do well, you wouldn’t get the feeling of a good player. But in Romelu’s case, he’s always been a top goalscorer

[Asked whether there is a better midfielder then Kevin De Bruyne in world football] No, no, no, definitely not. Kevin De Bruyne is a modern playmaker. Xabi Alonso at Liverpool or Xavi at Barcelona - when they received the ball, everything had to slow down and this allowed them to execute the pass. De Bruyne, he executes passes before the flow of the game has seen it, before people have seen it

2019 09 08 Retrieve

[Roberto Martinez believes Romelu Lukaku has not allowed last week’s racist chanting at Cagliari to affect his mood while on international duty] I haven’t seen a difference. It’s true that he was sad with the episode he had to go through but I’m sure that’s something everyone in football will try to help him and the environment to eradicate. There’s no tolerance for that. I think Romelu is one of the modern footballers that he was born with the attention with the media following him at the age of 16 in Belgium.

He had a media crew following around. They followed the expectation of a team having to win at Anderlecht with the Champions League participation. Then he had a big transfer to Chelsea, then he had time at West Brom before a big transfer fee to Everton. He then had another big transfer fee to Manchester Untied and now to Inter. Romelu doesn’t get affected. He is one of the most driven boys that you are going to see. His life is football. He lives to score goals and be effective for the national team and his club

2019 09 09 Retrieve

[Roberto Martinez has admitted this is the first time he has seen Romelu Lukaku so focused and happy as he backed the Intermilan star to lead the way for club and country] This is the first time I have seen him free and happy. Going back to many camps I have not seen Rom so focused, so happy, so refreshed by the new challenge. I think he is now ready to face one of the biggest footballing chapters in his career with the Inter Milan move. And he is very driven to be as good as he can for the national team, so I have been very impressed with his happiness and the way he is looking forward to the football ahead

[Martinez is however wary of the threat Scotland could pose on Monday, despite the fact Belgium claimed a 3-0 win when they met in June] I expect a really tough game. I thought the first 15 minutes against Russia is the best I’ve seen Scotland for many years. From their intensity, the intent, the quality in the wide areas to be able to get a really good formation and get players in good positions. Then there is the emotional side. Sometimes you have something to lose and you start performing in a different manner. We have to be very, very careful. I think we’re going to see a free Scotland team that can go and enjoy the 90 minutes. We have to be ready to perform under those circumstances.

2019 09 09b Retrieve

[Scotland vs Belgium. Belgium boss Roberto Martinez will likely look to shuffle his deck somewhat, given the talent he has at his disposal, and one man likely to be pressing for inclusion is Romelu Lukaku] What they miss is his outstanding trade as a goalscorer. Look at his stats. He is one of the most significant scorers at his age

2019 09 10 Retrieve

[Belgium boss Roberto Martinez believes when Kevin De Bruyne is at his best, there’s no other midfielder like him] He’s been very, very good for a long time now. I think he’s in the best moment of his career. This campaign has started with a freshness and real driven feeling of playing at his best and when he does that he’s as good as it gets. There’s no other midfield player that can create space, a playmaker that can execute the passes that he does. It’s a joy to see him fitting into the group. It’s fair to say today was a big win for us. It’s a big, big step. We need to keep getting tighter as a group and keep getting better

[While in career-best form, the Manchester City star was coy when asked if there were any other players in the world performing as well as he has been] Fortunately I don’t have to judge that. I just have to play well. I’m just content. I’m feeling good. I have already played many matches and am starting to come into my rhythm. That is important, because there are still many games to play. When your career is over, you can see what you have done afterwards. But right now I just want to win competitions. The faster we do that, the better. That can also be very important for the rest of the season

It wasn’t just the quality of play - we know the quality we have. Today we had to be very good in many aspects. We had to work very hard off the ball - Scotland are growing into becoming a technical team. We had to be clinical and the first goal shows you that. From then on, it was very easy to switch off. But the back three and Thibaut [Courtois] and the whole team, it was very pleasing to get a clean sheet

2019 09 10b Retrieve

[Belgium coach Roberto Martinez has noted that the move has clearly benefited the striker, who he has never seen so happy and focused] This is the first time I have seen him free and happy. Going back to many camps I have not seen Rom so focused, so happy, so refreshed by the new challenge. I think he is now ready to face one of the biggest footballing chapters in his career with the Inter Milan move. And he is very driven to be as good as he can for the national team, so I have been very impressed with his happiness and the way he is looking forward to the football ahead

2019 10 10c Retrieve

[Roberto Martinez has refuted accusations that Eden Hazard may be out of shape] I’m happy to see Eden with the group. He’s smiling. He’s a world-class player, who is unique, talented. He is also very professional and, although he has already won trophies [in his career], he is reaching the highest point of his career. He takes great care of himself and, in my eyes, he’s not fat

Courtois, when he arrived, had lost two kilos. He’d suffered from a serious bowel problem and therefore needed time to recover. Now he’s back and is in top shape

2019 10 11 Retrieve

[Roberto Martinez applauded the discipline and camaraderie in his team as Belgium battered San Marino 9-0 to qualify for Euro 2020] We said in advance that our attitude would be important today. We remained disciplined and it was also important that we gradually became not more selfish. I am very happy with the game delivered, with how we came up with opportunities and with the group feeling. If you see Yannick Carrasco giving the ball to an 18-year-old for the penalty, it is that human quality of this group that gives me the most pleasure

[Martinez handed a start to Hans Vanaken, whose performances for Club Brugge, in addition to Verschaeren coming through at Anderlecht, show it is not necessary for players to leave Belgium to develop] You are never too young for this and you do not have to go abroad to fully use your potential. Vanaken is still growing, in Belgium, with an ambitious and well-structured team. His performance today was full of knowhow, timing and quality. And as far as Verschaeren is concerned, it is as if he has been walking around here for years. [It is] unbelievable that he was still with the under-21 team three months ago and still with the under-18s a year ago. This is a wonderful example of the future of Belgian football

2019 11 17 Retrieve

[Lukaku once again on the score sheet for the Red Devils, Martinez has stressed how much he’s benefited from a move to Serie A] Intermilan want to compete for the title and they have given Romelu a goal. And when Romelu sets a goal, I don’t know anyone who’s more focused than him. He’s obsessed with victory. Whether the criticism is good or bad, one thing will never change: Romelu will score. His quality as a striker is beyond question. He’s grown again since he made the transition to Inter. For the first time in his career he plays with a second striker next to him. And even if he’s getting used to it, he’s already scored nine goals

2019 11 19 Retrieve

[Belgian’s international manager Roberto Martinez didn’t have any concerns about Eden Hazard’s form, however, and knew he would find his feet eventually] It’s certain that, due to the injury, he had a slow start at his [new] club. You’re going into a different league with a different way of playing. It probably takes time for other players to understand what Eden can do on the pitch. This is the period of adaptation

2019 11 20 Retrieve

[Roberto Martinez believes Belgium deserve to win Euro 2020] Whether we can win the European Championship, that is something that we have in our hands. We need to get even better and then we see if we can play another great tournament. We have set the standard at the World Cup and we are continuing to develop into a team with a great deal of togetherness. And the fans are also important. We now have seven months to become as good as possible. This team deserves to win the European Championship but, in football, it’s not that simple

[With another major tournament now on the horizon, Martinez believes his side’s form in qualification bodes well] I think everyone just worked really well this year. The players know what to do and they do it with an incredible focus. Scoring six times and then playing again in this way is very good

2019 11 29 Retrieve

[Former Toffees boss Roberto Martinez says Everton’s upcoming Merseyside derby with Liverpool could mark a turning point for under-fire manager Marco Silva] That’s a game that would show an incredible mentality from Everton. It’s always difficult to go to Anfield and get a positive result and Liverpool’s home record is as good as it gets. So, getting a historic result at Anfield could be the start of a new campaign. It really is more important than a Merseyside derby - Merseyside derbies are very special but I think in this case there’s a lot to win for Everton. I was a manager in the Premier League for seven consecutive years, 255 games, and I know that things can change very quickly. The season can change and probably you need an outstanding result that sets the tone and Anfield could be the place

It’s only 13 games into the season. Obviously it hasn’t been a real bright start in terms of getting the points that probably Everton, with the investment, would expect to get in this initial third of the season. Still, it’s one third, and sometimes you need to go through pain and trauma as a team to become strong again. The time to make the assessment will be more at the end of the season and see how the campaign has allowed the team to gel together and become as strong as it can

2019 12 01 Retrieve

[Roberto Martinez says Eden Hazard’s time at Real Madrid will develop into something very special] I saw Eden at the [Santiago] Bernabeu against PSG and I have to say that we saw a fascinating hour. He taught us how his season with Real Madrid will be and the truth is that it makes your mouth water. Too bad he had to come off because of the injury, but we see an Eden Hazard that is going to contribute more and more, that his mates know him more and more and the truth is that the project of Eden at Real Madrid will be very special

[Another player sure to be key to possible success for Belgium at next year’s tournament is Romelu Lukaku, who has scored 11 goals in 17 games for Inter this season] The truth is that he had a very difficult period in Manchester United, especially the last six months. He is now leading a project with Antonio Conte and it will be very interesting to see its evolution

2019 12 01b Retrieve

[Belgium manager Roberto Martinez insists that Real Madrid shot-stopper Thibaut Courtois is the best goalkeeper in the world] Thibaut is for me the best goalkeeper in the world, as he showed at the [2018] World Cup. From there, he is the best person for me to defend Real Madrid’s goal. It has been a difficult period, but I think that the opportunity to return with the national team has helped him to regain the good feelings, in the same way that we hope that the successes he has at Real Madrid can help us in the Euros

2019 12 06 Retrieve

[Roberto Martinez says Eden Hazard has been described as the Michael Jordan of football] I see Hazard winning the Ballon d’Or. He has the role of being a Ballon d’Or winner. What he has done is the level of the Ballon d’Or and he is always eligible for the prize. He has done it at Chelsea, in France. It is difficult for a foreigner to be at the reference of a project that works to win the league. He is a last-pass player, a Michael Jordan. Hazard is the Michael Jordan of football

It’s more the process of the injury. In the game against PSG, he had a setback and now we’ve discovered that he will spend a bit more time out than expected. There’s nothing to worry about. You want a player like Eden to be 100 per cent, and now he’d established himself in the team and he was playing well. He’s in very good physical condition and he’ll be back very soon. You don’t want to lose players of his level, but a team always has to deal with injuries, suspensions […] Real Madrid are well prepared for this

2019 12 07 Retrieve

[Roberto Martinez undestands why Fred isn’t penalised for handball] I can see both ways. I know the law and that’s a little bit interpretation. Again, is Fred using the arm because he’s falling to the ground? Then it’s a natural position. But the interpretation could be that it’s outside his body so it’s one of those actions where you need to take what the referee says

2020 02 24 Retrieve

[Belgium boss Roberto Martinez claims Kevin De Bruyne is committed to Man City’s project] Kevin De Bruyne is committed to the project of Manchester City. So we don’t know what’s going to happen, the ban maybe will be [reduced] to one year. I think two years will have big implications to Manchester City. But I think it’s too early, I don’t think everyone is thinking to their futures just yet. I think the time of talking about the future of the players will be after all these competitions are clear

2020 02 24b Retrieve

[Hazard’s ankle injury leaves Belgium boss Roberto Martinez ‘anxious’] We are very sad, because this injury will leave him out of action for at least three months. A footballer like Eden Hazard should always be on the pitch. We have an excellent communication with Real Madrid’s medical staff and we are anxious about Eden. It’s a shame, because it has also happened before an important game like that of Manchester City

2020 02 27 Retrieve

[Despite being just 18, Yari Verschaeren is already a full international having put in a series of impressive displays for Anderlecht over the past year] It will be interesting to see an 18-year-old among those men who already have more than 100 caps. The whole of Belgian football must be happy to have such a talent again. And also as a person he is fantastic. He is a future ambassador of Belgian football. I have been following Yari very closely for over a year. We are talking about a very, very talented player here. If you look at his past years, you can see that he has always adjusted very quickly to any level

2020 02 28 Retrieve

[Roberto Martinez says Eden Hazard will return in time for Euro 2020] We spoke with Eden and we are in the process of seeing when he might be able to return to action. Everyone was extremely disappointed with his latest injury but it’s part of a footballer’s life. In the last eight years, he’s missed very few games but I am convinced that he will come back before the last game in La Liga this summer and will be a big player for Real Madrid. Even if Real Madrid’s medical staff have not asked me for my opinions, we’re in contact with them

2020 03 05 Retrieve

[Belgium boss Roberto Martinez has expressed confidence the forward will play again for Madrid this season] In the last eight years, he’s missed very few games but I am convinced that he will come back before the last game in La Liga this summer and will be a big player for Real Madrid

2020 03 28 Retrieve

[Belgium boss Roberto Martinez says Thibaut Courtois world’s best & will shatter records at Real Madrid] It has always been clear that he was aware of what it takes to be No.1 of Madrid. He came at a time of change, quite difficult, but he was always very focused to demonstrate what he is. Since Galatasaray in Champions, from there he has been essential in the results. He is still very young and can undoubtedly break all records in Madrid’s goal. His maturity is well above his years

Definitely. The World Cup was a reflection of that: he was the best. Being the best at the World Cup, joining Madrid and his qualities and size allow him to do things that others cannot

He is a player who understands, and very well, that when you don’t win a match in a team as demanding as Madrid, you have to be very mature and improve to do well in the next one. It is very troublesome when you are not ready for that pressure, but Courtois is and does not let that affect his confidence and his level. He has constantly adapted and improved. We all know that he will mark an era in Madrid

2020 03 28b Retrieve

[Belgium boss Martinez says Hazard has been unlucky & will star for Real Madrid] We were very confident that he would get well because he does not need, when he is discharged, much time to reach his level. The deadlines were good enough for him to play for Madrid in the last few weeks and come with Belgium [to the Euros]. Now we are concerned with players who may have a team change, a game change elsewhere, or the older ones

He is very sensible, calm. He is always happy. He is focused on recovering as soon as possible to miss the minimum number of games. He was very focused on recovering well and in time for the European Championship. Now all he has to do is focus on whether he can play a very important role with Madrid this season, which I am sure he can. He has the perfect character to be able to react as needed when there are situations such as the operation or the postponement of the Euro

He is at the perfect age to take responsibility at a club like Madrid and with Belgium, who are number one in the world. He is fully adapted to the league and Madrid. His only problem has been injuries. He has been very, very unlucky. Luck plays a huge role in football and he has missed more games this season than he had in seven years at Chelsea. That is bad luck and I am convinced that very soon that luck will change, and he will be able to be a decisive and stellar player

2020 04 19 Retrieve

[Eden Hazard: Real Madrid star recovering well from ankle surgery] I know he is recovering well. He is not far from running again and there are no complications. Everything went well with the operation, but you also hope that everything goes well in the four to five weeks afterwards without complications, and there were none. We know he will return stronger. We were also fortunate, of course, to have his surgery take place just before the coronavirus outbreak. Otherwise he would not be able to travel or be treated outside of Madrid. I have a positive feeling that Eden will be back soon

2020 04 22 Retrieve

[Martinez warns of ‘catastrophic’ consequences for clubs if league seasons aren’t finished] I think the only solution is to finish the campaign. You need to make sure that everyone is aware there is a big risk of sending big institutions, institutions of football that have been alive for over 100 years, into a very difficult financial position. That’s the reality. I think UEFA and FIFA have taken the right approach in prioritising domestic football

International football got cancelled in the March camp, rightly so, and got cancelled in the June camp, rightly so, [and] the Euros have been postponed, just to give an opportunity to every league to find a solution with their contracts with TV rights

The decision was to finish the campaign was because everyone accepted that, after 29 games, if you are first you deserve to win and if you are bottom you deserve to be relegated. Other competitions, if they don’t finish they will have to give the money back from TV rights and that would be catastrophic

2020 04 26 Retrieve

[Belgium head coach Roberto Martinez says that Manchester City playmaker Kevin De Bruyne has matured into a exceptional player] Kevin started as a very young, promising player in Genk, and from there he had a really tough period [at Chelsea]. He’s become an exceptional player after facing adversity. He never looked to blame anyone, never looked to be happy where he was, and when he made it at Wolfsburg, and going to Manchester City and now working with Pep Guardiola, he’s become a player in the best moment of his career. He controls the space like nobody. He can execute the pass with precision and with the speed of actions that not many players can and now he has the maturity and emotional intelligence to perform the way he did at Santiago Bernabeu. The team goes 1-0 down and he has that strength of character to bring the team back into the game and even winning. Psychologically and mentally, Kevin is now in a fantastic moment, which highlights his real strength, that technical ability of using space and time with exceptional touch

2020 04 30 Retrieve

[Courtois has shown ‘great maturity’ to turn his Real Madrid career around] I think that Thibaut, everything that happened on the field of play, never affected him in a decisive way. He was aware that he wanted to improve his performances and somehow be at his natural level. I have watched it with great pride. To see Thibaut have to continue working and reach the level he has reached is because he is perfectly prepared to be in Real Madrid’s goal. The easy thing would have been to throw in the towel or start blaming third parties when you’re in such a difficult situation. Thibaut did the opposite. He showed great maturity, great self-criticism, to the point of becoming essential at Real Madrid. There are no goalkeepers like Thibaut in modern football. It has been a source of pride to see him grow so much on a human level and give the level he has given this season

I think Eden has had a very good reaction to the operation, you always have to be very aware of how it adapts and how it happens each week. The signs have been very positive. Now he has had the opportunity to focus, to recover without having the anxiety of wanting to be on the field of play. There are no games, there are no Euros… it is something that has benefited us. You have to understand that there will be other players who, one more year in their careers, can bring them a difficulty to be in the squad. At the team level, you always have individual cases that favour you and that do not favour you. In Eden’s case, let’s hope he can be back on the field again if La Liga resumes before the end of August. I am very confident that Eden will be able to enjoy football again before the season ends

2020 05 06 Retrieve

[Belgium head coach Roberto Martinez delivered a positive update on Hazard’s recovery last month] I know he is recovering well. He is not far from running again and there are no complications. We know he will return stronger. We were also fortunate, of course, to have his surgery take place just before the coronavirus outbreak

2020 05 21 Retrieve

[Belgium head coach Roberto Martinez says Hazard can win the Ballon d’Or at Real Madrid] He can totally win the Ballon d’Or with Real Madrid, without a doubt. Sometimes it takes a difficult start at your new club to give everything you have inside and understand what it means to play in a great club like Real Madrid. Eden does not miss games, he lost 18 games with Chelsea in eight years and this has been circumstantial. The game that was injured against Paris Saint-Germain we already saw Eden with a lot of joy in his football with a great connection with his team-mates. I think Real Madrid fans are confident that he will bring many successes

He is very happy. The footballer Eden is in a moment of great joy, he is very comfortable. All the steps have been taken in great detail and I would have had no problem to end the season with Real Madrid and reach the European Championship. I see him very happy and looking forward to some joy this season

2020 05 24 Retrieve

[Roberto Martinez on Hazard who has struggled under the weight of expectation after a bumper £150 million switch] He can totally win the Ballon d’Or with Real Madrid, without a doubt. Sometimes it takes a difficult start at your new club to give everything you have inside and understand what it means to play in a great club like Real Madrid. Eden does not miss games, he lost 18 games with Chelsea in eight years and this has been circumstantial. The game that was injured against Paris Saint-Germain we already saw Eden with a lot of joy in his football with a great connection with his team-mates. I think Real Madrid fans are confident that he will bring many successes

2020 06 06 Retrieve

[Roberto Martinez says Eden Hazard has not failed at Real Madrid] I think Eden’s situation has been very clear. He’s missed over 20 games. In eight seasons at Chelsea, he missed 18 games, so there is a degree of [bad] luck. Eden hasn’t been able to do his job. Has he failed? No, and now is not the moment [to judge him]. Whenever he finishes his time at Real Madrid, then he can look back and rate his performance and his role. If you ask me, I think Eden Hazard will be a massive, massive player for Real Madrid. I know Eden inside out. He is in the best moment of his career. I don’t think Real Madrid will ever decide to move on. [Real Madrid] has probably the best player to start a new project. The way Real Madrid have been playing this season, in the game he got injured against PSG, that’s the best Real Madrid I’ve seen play for many, many years. The way they combined, the understanding with Eden Hazard and him with the other players, that team was coming. He is the best footballer to build a project around at Real Madrid

2020 06 06b Retrieve

[Belgium manager Roberto Martinez says Kevin De Bruyne will be considering a move away from Manchester City] Kevin is a winner. I think he will weigh up everything before his decision. He will take into consideration if there is a ban in the Champions League, if the coach that he has a fantastic relationship is going to stay at the club. As you can imagine, this is the moment that a player like Kevin De Bruyne is enjoying his best years and he’s given them to Manchester City. But then you think, ‘what’s going to happen in the next four, five years?’ Nobody can give him good advice, the only advice is the one that you feel as a player. The last thing you can afford to do is finish your career and say ‘I should have moved in that moment, or I should have stayed’. Kevin is very mature and will take everything into consideration. Of course, if Man City have a ban he will take that into his decision making. Over the years he’s shown that if he’s happy somewhere he likes to stay and win things. I think it’s going to have a major say what happens at the club if there is a ban - what’s going to happen with the manager and what’s going to happen with [any] future project?

2020 07 03 Retrieve

[Roberto Martinez says the EFL should investigate after his former club Wigan fell into administration] When you see a club going into administration you get a little bit of a shock. Straight away you get that sad feeling of a football institution, which means so much to the community and its fans, that goes into administration. In Wigan Athletic’s case it was an even bigger shock. You need to look back at the change of ownership in November 2018, you’re talking about 19 months. This is a wonderful family club that had no debt whatsoever, had fantastic assets with the two training grounds and a stadium, and all of a sudden is in a situation to go into administration. So I was totally shocked

It has been an inspirational club for many families around the north-west, but other clubs as well, that things can be achieved if you plan and work well, that you can play in the Premier League, reach Europe, and engrave your name in the most famous cup competition in the world. That’s the story of Wigan Athletic. The fans don’t deserve this