In May 2013, the humble Wigan defeated multimillionaires from Manchester City 1-0 in the FA Cup Final. Spanish coach Roberto Martinez won the match against Italian Roberto Mancini. Martinez is a peculiar case of football in the Iberian Peninsula. He played only one first division game when he and two teammates from the Real Zaragoza reserve set a course for the British Isles. In the third league, Wigan called them the “Three Friends” – a strange mixture of English and Spanish.
In 2005, Wigan supporters chose midfielder Martinez as the best player in the club’s history. He also played for Motherwell in Scotland, Chester in England, and Swansea in Wales. There he became a coach, and then Wigan joined him as a club in the English Premier League. He was the third Spanish coach in the Premier League alongside Juande Ramos (Tottenham) and Rafael Benitez (Liverpool).
The FA Cup win was the better side of the coin. worst? Wigan was relegated from the league. Martinez has moved to Everton to replace David Moyes. He had a great first season, followed by two mediocre seasons and was released. In August 2016, he replaced Marc Wilmots as Belgian coach. The golden generation of footballers with Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku lost their big chance at Euro 2016 – by eliminating Wales in the quarter-finals.
Martinez is the coach who puts the talent of the players on a pedestal. He believes that even the best tactical concepts devised by the coach will not replace him. His work brought the greatest success in the history of Belgian football – the bronze in the World Cup in Russia. The golden generation has been achieved. The Belgians have been at the top of the FIFA rankings for three years. Robert is loved today even in the homeland he left years ago. He’s a foreigner half his age.
She says adaptability is the most important thing when working abroad. Do not teach others, but educate yourself. It was he who introduced the fashion to play with three defenders on the ball. However, he believes that without the talent of De Bruyne, Hazard, Lukaku and others, he would not have achieved anything. Roberto Mancini can be called the opposite of the Spaniard. The Italian coach reconstituted the national team from scratch. He rejected old values, and introduced new ones. He cursed the outdated bolt, ordering high pressure and positional attack. His compatriots grabbed their heads, and today they admit that he is right. Italy has not lost in 31 matches. “It probably can’t be a coincidence,” Martinez laughs.
Both are nomads. As a coach, Mancini worked in the First Division, the Premier League and then in Turkey (Galatasaray) and Russia (Zenit Saint Petersburg). He loved offensive football, as did Martinez. Ahead of today’s game against Belgium, reporters asked him about his doubts about the performance of De Bruyne and Eden Hazard – both of whom are recovering from injuries. – I hope they play. This will make the task difficult for us, but it will certainly be a better offer – answered the Italian coach.
Before the start of Euro 2020, Mancini said that the team should play attractively, because all citizens watch it in great tournaments. Not only football lovers, but also those who are not occupied by football on a daily basis. There are a few of these in Italy, and less and less in Belgium. Mancini and Martinez have built teams to look forward to with joy.
The fastest Italian train is the Frecciarossa (red arrow) which reaches 360 km/h on the road from Rome to Milan. The fastest Belgian company Thales transports people from Brussels to Amsterdam. Their spaces will never meet. Mancini and Martinez cross paths today in Munich. Veteran Italy coach regained. 36-year-old Giorgio Chiellini has treated an injury after a confrontation with Switzerland. He did not play against Wales in the group and Austria in the 1/8 finals. He is really healthy.
He was the first to protest against Italians playing their version of tiki-tac after losing the World Cup qualifiers in Russia. But Mancini convinced him. They are paired with 34-year-old Leonardo Bonucci to stop Lukaku today. Juventus held the top spot in Serie A for 9 years, but Inter Lukaku broke their dominance last season. How will you be in Munich today? Will the Italian routine from Juventus find the strength and the way to beat the Belgian athlete?
The Italians went through the group stage at Euro 2020 like a storm. They became favorites No. 1. Then we asked them: Will they be able to hold the match at this pace until the end of the tournament? The underappreciated Austrians made them fearful. Mancini’s team needed extra time to win 2-1. Reserve Federico Chiesa and Matteo Pesina came and settled the match. This shows that Mancini has a strong and equal team. The same can be said about Martinez. In the 1/8 final, his team expelled the defending champions from Portugal after a goal by Thorgan Hazard. The younger brother walked out from the elder’s shadow. Eden continues to struggle with injuries. Will he reach Italy?