Martinez proud of Belgium’s masterplan

Roberto Martinez fc barcelona

Roberto Martinez was left bursting with pride after praising his Belgium players for executing his tactical plan in their World Cup semi-final win over Brazil.

Martinez switched from his favoured 3-4-2-1 set-up to a 4-3-3 in Kazan and it paid off, as Brazil struggled to cope with the Red Devils during the first half.

A Fernandinho own goal and a slick second from Kevin De Bruyne gave Belgium a 2-0 advantage and although Renato Augusto pulled one back with 15 minutes to go, Martinez’s men held on.

After securing Belgium’s first semi-final appearance since 1986, Martinez delivered a glowing tribute to his side.

“I’m the proudest man on earth because I gave the players a very tough tactical assignment and the way they believed until the last second was incredible,” he said.

“They’ve done something special and I hope everyone in Belgium is very, very proud.

“It would be very easy to think you turn up and win a football game but you cannot do that against Brazil.

“We had to be brave tactically and to do that in a World Cup, the players have to believe. It’s about execution of the tactics.

“Brazil adapted better in the second half. Then it’s not a game of tactics, it’s a game of heart and belief, talking, all the aspects you have to show to be a great team.

“It was a performance of both things, tactics and heart.”