“We weren’t ourselves against Italy” says Martinez. “That is to Italy’s credit. I did learn that we suffered from fatigue. We had to travel a lot, while Italy played most of its matches in Rome. We were not at our best against Italy. They seized a lot of chances, while we did not.”
“I evaluated myself and the team. There was great disappointment but I do not believe we failed by not reaching the semis. To fail would have meant we didn’t try to win. We were exceptional in that respect. Just look at Witsel and De Bruyne”.
Roberto Martinez is determined to stay in the job and continue to give his all as Belgium manager.
The manager believes today’s team was stronger than the group that played three years ago in Russia. What has changed, he conceded, are people’s expectations.
“I don’t agree we didn’t accomplish anything at the Euros. We won four matches and beat the European champions. But I accept criticism and I am responsible for Belgium’s elimination.”
The World Cup starts within eighteen months. Martinez’s ambition is to reach the final.
“We need to qualify first, but we’re off to a good start. The World Cup should be a more normal tournament with fewer corona restrictions.”