I couldn’t control the emotions anymore: Roberto Martinez reveals that he had informed the Belgian team that he was resigning before the Croatia game

Former Belgium coach Roberto Martinez said he had already informed the Belgium squad that he will step down as manager before they face Croatia in their final and crucial group stage draw.

“It was very difficult to get the message that I was going to stop,” Martinez told Het Laatste Nieuws, quoted by the Daily Mail. “I had never done it before and hope never to have to do it again. I couldn’t control all the emotions anymore,” he added.

The former manager also dismissed reports of dressing room trouble, which had intensified after their loss to Morocco. “What happens in the dressing room stays in the dressing room, it’s a sacred place. Did the players talk to each other? Yes. Everyone shared their thoughts and emotions. It was human quality. In fact, it was the opposite of what the press claimed. They wouldn’t care about each other. It was far from that. I cherish that memory,” Martinez said.

Belgium’s golden generation had a torrid time at the World Cup after narrowly winning against Canada in the opening match, losing to Morocco in the second group match and drawing with Croatia in their final match as they were knocked out in the group stage.

After that, Martinez would officially quit his job, saying, “That was my last game for the national team.”

Martinez coached Belgium to a third-place finish at the 2018 World Cup and led the team for six years.

“I always work in the long term. I believe in the long term,” he said, trying to hold back tears. “Since 2018 I have had many opportunities to leave and take jobs at club level. But I wanted to stay faithful. I am not resigning,” Martinez added. “I’ve reached the end of my contract,” he had said.

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