“We are an attack team, but we know how to wait”

06/25/2021 at 6:11 PM CEST


Belgium is a football team that is built on attack, based on the talent of players such as Kevin de Bruyne, Romelu Lukaku or Eden Hazard, but that will know how to suffer and wait for opportunities in Sunday’s round of 16 match, according to the coach of the Red Devils, Roberto Martinez.

“We cannot change who we are. We are a dynamic team that is built on the attack. But we will have to be patient, we will have to control the game,” Martinez said at a press conference, adding that it is important to know “when you have to be. patient and when you have to be at your best in those quick attacks. “

The word “suffering” has appeared in the press conferences of the Belgian team that week ahead of the round of 16 match against the current European champion on Sunday at 21.00 CET (19.00 GMT) at the La Cartuja stadium in Seville (Spain ).

Thursday was Yannick Carrasco, Belgian winger of an eminently defensive team like Atlético de Madrid, who spoke of defensively managing a game that is expected to be very competitive.

“We can also wait, we can play the same game. It is not our style, we usually play possession, but we also know how to suffer. It is up to us to manage the game and if we have to suffer, we will,” he said. Carrasco.

The equality between the two teams is so great that the coach was asked if he thinks he can decide on penalties.

“We are prepared for any scenario,” he said. Martinez, who ruled out changing his starting goalkeeper, Thibaut Courtois, for the alternate, Simon Mignolet, Brujas goalkeeper with the best numbers in maximum penalties.

“No, not at all. I have never believed in these kinds of changes,” he said. Martinez, who pointed out that “the goalkeepers must be given continuity and confidence in a very lonely position.”

The Spanish coach did not want to reveal which eleven he will use against the Portuguese.

“It depends”, “we’ll see” or “those decisions will be made in the next 48 hours” are the answers you provided when asked if Kevin by Bruyne or Eden Hazard will be headlines.

De Bruyne He is in perfect physical condition and I can say the same about Axel Witsel Y Eden Hazard (…) Everyone is ready, “said the coach.

“You know why this team is successful, why they have won the Eurocup and the Nations League, because they have an incredible mentality and they know how to play great games. We arrived with a lot of confidence, with a lot of ‘momentum’. We have accumulated 13 victories, that’s what it’s not a coincidence “


Roberto Martínez assured Belgium will have to be “solid, compact and defend as a team”, but assured that he has not designed an “anti-Cristiano Ronaldo plan” to contain the Portuguese star and top scorer of the European Championship, despite the fact that ” we all know that he is one of the best footballers in the world. “

“No. Obviously we have to defend very, very well. If you put a plan into practice against one player, others can hurt you,” he said. Martinez, who said that “Portugal has more than one threat in their attack” and listed players as Bernardo silva, Diego Jota, Bruno Fernandes, Moutinho or the “experience” of Pepe.

From Christian He said he’s still just as dangerous as years ago, although he’s probably changed his way of playing a bit.

“When you get a little older you adapt, you become a little more clinical in what you do. Cristiano Ronaldo he knows how to use space, he penetrates from different areas, he is an incredible aerial threat, “he said about the 35-year-old Portuguese forward.


Martinez He did not give much importance to the state of the field of play in Seville, criticized in the three previous encounters in the tournament, and framed it within the “many elements that surround the game beyond the game”.

“The field will be in the same conditions for both teams. The information we receive from Seville is that they are working to try to ensure that it is in the best possible conditions,” he said. Martinez.

The coach added that he is looking forward to training tomorrow at the stadium so that the players adapt to the field but also to the weather conditions, with maximums of 35 degrees and sun in the coming days compared to the rainy 19 degrees of the Belgian capital this Friday .

To do this, the coach plans to change “the hydration and drinks of the players” slightly, but stressed that he expects that at 9:00 p.m. local time on Sunday the field will be “around 30-31 degrees”, which would be similar to the conditions experienced by the Belgians in Saint Petersburg in the 2-0 match on the last day of the group stage.

It will also be similar in terms of the audience, as Saint Petersburg is close to Helsinki just as Portugal borders Spain, so “it will be almost a home game for the Portuguese,” he said.

“They are two teams that is a bit early for that one to face each other, but it is the nature of the tournament,” acknowledged the coach who led Belgium to third in the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

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