Belgium deserve to finish with a win: Martinez

Jul 14, 2018, 07:35 IST | AFP

Roberto Martinez's side, who were beaten 0-1 by France in the last four, topped Group G ahead of England after an Adnan Januzaj goal settled a low-key encounter in Kaliningrad

Belgium deserve to finish with a win: Martinez
Belgium coach Roberto Martinez (right) with forward Dries Mertens during their semi-final against France on Tuesday. Pic/AFP

Belgium's World Cup third-place play-off game against England here today offers them a chance to finish the tournament on a winning note and Red Devils' coach Roberto Martinez insists his players deserves to end their campaign on a high.

Roberto Martinez's side, who were beaten 0-1 by France in the last four, topped Group G ahead of England after an Adnan Januzaj goal settled a low-key encounter in Kaliningrad. That game saw both coaches heavily rotate their teams, and a similar scenario is likely in Saint Petersburg, with several fringe players pushing for a start. For Belgium and their "golden generation", many of the key players should return for the 2022 World Cup, even if Vincent Kompany and Jan Vertonghen will probably be gone by then.

Martinez, who signed an extension until after Euro 2020 in May, can guide Belgium to the nation's best result at the World Cup. They finished fourth in 1986. "We want to finish on a high and these players deserve to finish on a high," said the Spaniard. "You need to try to see the opportunity of finishing third at the World Cup. That doesn't happen too often, so we need to understand that this is an important game. But I would accept it is difficult when you had the ambition of getting to the final. It's very difficult to prepare for the next game."

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