Roberto Martinez Profile

Name Roberto Martinez
Born Jul 13, 1973
Age 49 years
Birthplace Balaguer, Spain
Height 5ft 9ins

A former manager of Swansea City, Wigan and Everton, Roberto Martinez was head coach of Belgium but is now in charge of Portugal.

As a player, the Spaniard turned out in far more matches in the British Isles than he did back home and was particularly influential at Swansea City and Wigan Athletic, where he would later take on the manager's post.

In his managerial career, Martinez has generally favoured a possession-based style of play. He credits Johan Cruyff with being the strongest influence on him in terms of his playing philosophy.

He has coaxed some magnificent performances out of the star-studded Belgium side, but is yet to deliver a major trophy to the Low Country.

While coaching Wigan, he was interviewed for the vacant Liverpool position which would end up going to Brendan Rodgers and soon after, Martinez would take up the managerial post at Everton, replacing long-time manager David Moyes.

In 2014 he committed to another five years at Goodison Park after guiding the club to fifth in the previous term, but two years later he would be sacked with fans unhappy with his style of play.

He was appointed Belgium's coach in August 2016 and guided the nation to their best-ever finish at a World Cup in 2018, when they finished third. Martinez also kept Belgium at the top of the FIFA World Rankings from 2018 to 2022.

However, after Belgium flopped at the 2022 World Cup he left the job, only to become head coach of Portugal a month later.

Roberto Martinez and Belgium

Roberto Martinez, Dries Mertens, Belgium

Martinez was appointed Belgium coach on August 3, 2016.

Under Martinez, a star-studded Belgium cruised into the 2018 World Cup finals as the first European side to qualify.

Despite never having won a major trophy, Belgium were among the favourites in Russia and they did not disappoint, topping their group. Belgium's only blip in the opening weeks was going behind to Japan before winning 3-2 in the round of 16.

Belgium secured a famous victory over Brazil in the quarter-finals before losing a tight semi-final against neighbours France. They claimed the bronze at the event thanks to a 2-0 win over England in the third-place play-off.

Belgium put in another dominant display in qualifying for Euro 2020, winning all 10 matches in a group that included Russia and Scotland.

However, they again flattered to deceive in the finals, bowing out to Italy in the quarter-final having waltzed through their group and beaten Portugal in the round of 16.

The ageing 'Golden Generation' team fell apart at the 2022 World Cup, finishing third in their Group after losing 2-0 to Morocco and drawing with Croatia. Their only win came against Canada.

Martinez fought back the tears as he confirmed the draw with Croatia was his last game in the job.

In January 2023, Martinez was named manager of the Portugal national team, replacing Fernando Santos, who left the role after eight years in charge after the 2022 World Cup.

Highs and lows with Wigan Athletic and Swansea City

Martinez joined Wigan as both a player and a coach, but his second coming was far more dramatic.

Having pledged his future to Swansea, Martinez was labelled 'Judas' after he agreed to a move to Wigan Athletic and got a hostile reception in Wales when the Latics next visited.

As a player he made 187 league appearances for the Greater Manchester-based club while they were languishing in the lower leagues, but as a manager, he guided a club that would eventually push for a place in Europe.

Martinez retired from playing early, at the age of 33, shortly after leaving Wigan and began his coaching career.

He honed his playing style and philosophy at Swansea and Wigan and was well-received as manager of the two clubs, but his brand of play and handling of the media made him unpopular at Everton.

Roberto Martinez, Swansea City manager, League One trophy 2008

Martinez's biggest success at Wigan proved bittersweet as he guided them to their first FA Cup while also seeing them relegated from the Premier League.

Wigan won the 2013 FA Cup with a dramatic 91st-minute goal by Ben Watson, but three days later, their relegation from the top flight was confirmed with a 4-1 loss to Arsenal. As a result, Martinez is a figure that divides Wigan fans.

Roberto Martinez, Dave Whelan, FA Cup final 2013

Taking the reins at Everton

Martinez started his Everton career on the back foot, with fans unsure what to make of the man who replaced David Moyes. It didn't help that his previous team had suffered relegation and that Martinez was infamously prickly with the press.

Everton publicly agreed to £1.5million in compensation for Wigan, heaping more pressure on the manager.

Martinez gradually moulded the Everton side into his image, but it was a process that didn't win over the bulk of Toffees fans.

Roberto Martinez, Everton manager

He had the backing of the board for much of his tenure at Everton, but when results took a downturn, he was sacked at the end of the 2015/16 season. During the 2013/14 campaign, the club reached its peak under Martinez, who was at the helm for a then-record seven Premier League wins in a row. However, a late-season slump saw them miss out on fourth place and the following season's Champions League.

Martinez could not end Everton's long wait for a trophy and was shown the door with one match remaining in the campaign in May 2016.

A well-travelled playing career

Martinez's early career was hampered by a lack of opportunities at Real Zaragoza, where he was limited largely to the junior teams and the B squad, who compete as a separate entity in Spain's lower leagues.

His move to third division Wigan came as the club began a more ambitious phase of their development, and he would enjoy his best playing form for the team.

He was part of the Football League Trophy-winning Wigan side in 1999 after finishing the 1995/96 season as the club's top goalscorer with 13 goals in all competitions.

Wigan also won the Division Three league title in 1996/97 during Martinez's spell at the club.

He left Wigan for Scottish club Motherwell in 2001 but failed to make an impact and returned to England's first division with Walsall in 2002.

At Swansea he became a cult hero, and would be named club captain in a season where they survived the drop on the final day of the campaign.

He joined Chester City on a free in 2006, but stayed there for just one season before returning to Swansea.

Martinez was initially re-signed by the Swans as a player-manager but felt that he would do a disservice to his coaching duties by continuing his playing career, and he hung up his boots at the age of 33.

Personal life

Martinez has a strong connection to Britain and met his wife Beth while playing in Scotland for Motherwell. The couple were married in 2009 in Swansea, towards the end of his time as manager of the Swans. The couple have a daughter named Luella.

In his early playing career, Martinez hedged his bets and worked towards a degree in physiotherapy which he completed while still on the books at Real Zaragoza.

Martinez would later complete a postgraduate diploma in business management, through Manchester Metropolitan University.

Reported net worth

Martinez did not bag any big-money contracts in his playing days but enjoyed a multi-million dollar deal with Belgium.

Estimates of his net worth vary, but the most reliable sources place his accumulated wealth at $5million.

He enjoys a commercial relationship with Swiss watchmakers Hublot and will often display their timepieces during his signature air-punching goal celebration.

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