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Monday, 17 May 2021

Belgium second string hits all the right notes for Martinez

Reuters , Wednesday 31 Mar 2021
Roberto Martinez
Belgium coach Roberto Martinez during the press (Photo: Reuters)
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Coach Roberto Martinez was delighted with the performance of his second-string Belgian side on Tuesday after their 8-0 thrashing of Belarus in a 2022 World Cup qualifier emphasised the depth of talent in the country.

With the likes of Thibaut Courtois, Kevin De Bruyne, Romelu Lukaku and Dries Mertens given the night off, Belgium's reserves were given the chance to impress and did not disappoint.

“I changed a lot of positions but the continuity and stability stayed,” said a beaming Martinez after the win at Den Dreef in Leuven.

“It was great to see some of them taking the responsibility and playing a decisive role.”

Leandro Trossard and Hans Vanaken both had doubles while Michy Batshuayi, Christian Benteke, Jeremy Doku and Denis Praet also got on the scoresheet.

“It is important that we have different players who can help the team. Fresh blood is a must if you want to achieve success. With just 11 players you won’t become European champion.”

Tuesday's match was the last competitive outing for Belgium, the world's top ranked team, until they kick off their Euro 2020 campaign against Russia in St Petersburg on June 12.

“What we learned puts us in the right direction for the Euros,” Martinez added.

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