Belgium coach Roberto Martinez, after beating Portugal in the 1/8 round of the European Championship thanks to the goal scored by Thorgan Hazard, spoke about the clash with Italy in the quarterfinals, praising the work done by Mancini at the helm of the blues.
“Italy is probably the best team in the tournament. What Mancini has done is an example of how to make a team grow and I think it will be a nice match between two great teams.”
Martinez then commented on his team’s performance against Portugal:
“We were focused, defending really well. We controlled the game, scored a great goal and then, in the second half, as expected, Portugal had more momentum. We had to demonstrate a strong mentality. It all revolved around those aspects, of being tactically disciplined and very, very cunning.”
Regarding the physical problems of De Bruyne and Hazard, the Belgian Spaniard explained:
“De Bruyne suffered a severe blow to the ankle and doctors have not yet determined the diagnosis. For Hazard it is more of a muscle problem. We need 48 hours to assess the extent of the injuries. We will return to Belgium and perform the necessary examinations.”
“Disappointed and sad.” So said the coach of Portugal, Fernando Santos, after the elimination of his team, the still reigning European champions. He stated that Lusitanian footballers have given everything on the field and can have no regrets. Santos stressed that Portugal was unlucky, as it hit the post twice, while Belgium, although throwing it less towards the gate, scored a goal that was enough to qualify.