Sport/Voetbalmagazine travelled through England and Wales, in search of the footsteps that Roberto Martínez there, left behind. What turns out? Outside of a top professional was our new Belgian national team, nicknamed Bobby, an enthusiastic dancer.
“Typical Roberto: he plants a seed, let it quietly grow and then, suddenly, he’s standing there to harvest.” Graham Barrow (62) grins when he says, peering at the training ground of Wigan Athletic. Also in England they were surprised when Roberto Martínez at the beginning of August was presented as new coach of Belgium. But Barrow looks so also is not, he knows Martínez by and by, know what for a smart and reasoned man his former poulain. The scrawny Englishman should the trainer that the British career of Martínez launched, when he in 1995 in Spanish the next Balaguer wegplukte and made him debut as a midfielder of Wigan. Fourteen years later, when the Spaniard in 2009, the head coach was of the Latics, he wanted to get there Barrow absolutely to as T2, a position he also now holds in the English resembled.
“Belgium should not have to worry about”, says Barrow convinced. “I agree, Roberto has no experience as a coach, but he is able like no other to focus on certain matches. It is no coincidence that he was with Wigan in the FA Cup and last season two semi-finals in the League Cup and FA Cup, achieved with Everton.”
From various interviews with ex-teammates and ex-employees show that Roberto Martínez is always a very ambitious and very professional voetbaldier was. Someone who fully lived in the character of his sport, no alcohol drinking and healthy food is preferred over pizza. But, said his ex-coach Barrow and his ex-team-mate Leon Britton, in unison: “A gifted dancer.”
Leon Britton (33), the figurehead of Swansea City and just have his contract renewed by the Welsh Premier Leagueclub, testifies in Sport/Voetbalmagazine: “I remember a trip with the whole squad to Mallorca, after the season, and we went sometimes to the disco. Roberto stood there the whole night on the dance floor, he danced so enthusiastically that a lot of people assumed that he was drunk. Nothing was less true, he drank a whole evening bruiswater. Especially with his shoulder he could of those special moves. (stands and demonstrates) That little dance he does still. I had to laugh out loud when, last year, a YouTube video surfaced of a concert of Jason Deruloen Roberto standing to shake. (see below)
“He is very professional and very focused on his career, but he is also not zeurkous or musty guest. We shared the room and sometimes that was confrontational because he lived so ascetic, but he pointed at me, never. He knew very well how he had to make. When he see me cola saw drink, he said, ” That is as perfume in a Ferrari refueling. You need petrol for the car to make the render.’ Roberto knew very well that he is not at the top, a group had to be set but best to join in with the boys.”
Read the full report about the English years of Roberto Martínez in Sports/Voetbalmagazine of Wednesday 31 August.