Roberto Martinez Profile
|Born||Jul 13, 1973|
Roberto Martinez has been the head coach of Belgium since 2016, having established himself as a top manager in three stints at English clubs.
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.
Roberto Martinez and Belgium
Martinez was awarded the sought-after position of Belgium coach, which allowed him to work with some of the best players in the world, in a reasonably forgiving setting.
There is still pressure on Belgium to deliver because their stars dominate at the biggest clubs in Europe, but Martinez has been well-received as manager.
Under Martinez, Belgium cruised into the 2018 World Cup finals, being the first European side to qualify.
Despite never having won a World Cup or any other 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 the 2020 Euros, winning all 10 matches in a group that included Russia and Scotland.
Highs and lows with Wigan Athletic and Swansea City
Martinez joined Wigan and 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 places in Europe.
Martinez retired from football 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.
Martinez's biggest success at Wigan was ever so bittersweet as he ensured they would win the FA Cup for the first time in their history, but also couldn't prevent the club from being relegated.
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.
Taking the reins at Everton
Martinez started his Everton career on the back foot, with fans unsure what to make of the man who would replace David Moyes. It didn't help that his last team had suffered relegation and that Martinez was infamously prickly with the press.
Everton publicly agreed to Â£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.
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 was moved on from Swansea and joined Chester City on a free in 2006, but stayed there for just one season before moving back to Wales.
Martinez was initially signed 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.
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 city's most prominent football club. 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 enjoys a multi-million dollar deal with Belgium, which is set to be extended until after the 2022 World Cup.
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.