International football round up

It’s not very often we talk about international football, but it’s all been happening in this past week or so. From France to England and even Portugal too, here we will look to fill you in with what you have missed.

Ladies and gents, if you ever have issues getting employed, you need to hire the agent that Roberto Martinez uses. Spaniard Martinez who at club level has managed Everton and Swansea amongst other clubs was able to get a job with Belgium.

Some achievement for a man who was seen as a good manager, but far from elite. With The Red Devils Belgium, they did become world number one but never won an international trophy that the talent they had in their ranks merited.

So from one side that had a golden generation to another in Portugal, the 49-year-old Spaniard Martinez replaces Fernando Santos who resigned after the World Cup loss to Morocco.

I find it staggering, just how Jose Mourinho isn’t shaking the hand of the President of the Portuguese football federation and doing a press conference where he is confirmed as manager of A Salecao.

Roberto Martinez is clearly the Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting of management. Both player and manager are good, but they both punch above their weight.

The same can be argued with England manager Gareth Southgate, who announced he will be staying on until Germany 2024 at least. Just like Martinez, Southgate too has a very talented group of players but has yet to win silverware on the international stage.

For Portugal, just like Belgium before it’s the last chance saloon for this group of players, but maybe they can have one last hoorah at USA 2026. For England, Portugal and Belgium have been able to produce players of (on paper at least) world-class level.

Sadly for those three nations, France have been leading the way in this regard for the best part of a decade. Les Bleus who were defending champions coming into Qatar 2022, narrowly avoided becoming the first team since Brazil (1958/1962) to win back-to-back World Cup titles.

In the emotions of such a last-gasp defeat, manager Didier Deschamps has announced that he will continue to manage France, extending a deal which ended at the end of Qatar 2022 till 2026. Many might have forgiven him for wanting to pass the reigns to someone else after his achievements with the national side.

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