Roberto Martinez is ‘in line for the vacant Club Brugge job with the Spaniard still highly thought of in Belgium’ despite failing to reach the knockout stages of the Qatar World Cup less than a month ago
Ex-Belgium boss Roberto Martinez is thought to be a contender for the vacant managerial role at Club Brugge, after former manager Carl Hoefkens was sacked on Wednesday.
Martinez has not coached a club side since leaving Everton in 2016 to take over the Belgian team, but interest in the Spaniard would indicate that his stock has not taken quite the fall he might have expected after a dismal World Cup.
The Spaniard notably failed to progress from the group stages in Qatar with the Red Devils – who many had pegged as favourites to go far – and left the role with many tipping Vincent Kompany to be a potential successor.
Roberto Martinez is reportedly a candidate for the vacant manager role at Club Brugge
Martinez failed to reach the knockout stages of the World Cup with Belgium
But according to EFE, via Sport, the Spaniard is also in the running for a return to club management.
Many consider the 49-year-old to have drastically underachieved with what was deemed a ‘golden generation’ of Belgian talent at his disposal.
Since taking the job, the likes of Kevin de Bruyne, Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Dries Mertens, Thibaut Courtois and Thomas Meunier have all been in their prime and featured heavily.
However Martinez was unable to guide them to their first piece of major international silverware, although he did take them to a best ever World Cup finish (third place) in Russia 2018.
But a combination of tension within the camp, after De Bruyne suggested his side were ‘too old’ to go the distance, and poor performances on the field led to an embarrassing early exit and Martinez’s subsequent resignation.
Martinez last managed a club side when in charge of Everton, having also coached Swansea and Wigan
And yet a move to Club Brugge could revive the Spaniard’s club management career, with the Blauw-Zwart currently representing one of Europe’s most exciting sides.
Now former boss Hoefkens steered them to the knockout round of the Champions League for the first time in their history, although they are currently struggling in the Jupiler Pro League, sat 12 points behind Genk in fourth.
Club Brugge have a fantastic youth system that has unearthed the talent of Charles de Keteleare in recent years, and Martinez would bring an intimate knowledge of the Belgian football landscape having spent six years in charge of the national team.
The 49-year-old guided the Red Devils to their best ever finish at a World Cup – third at Russia 2018