Moscow, July 9 (IANS) Belgium winger Nacer Chadli has said Spanish coach Roberto Martinez deserved credit for the team’s success at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Under Martinez, Belgium won Group G ahead of England and impressively rallied back from a 0-2 deficit against Japan to make it a 3-2 win before defeating Brazil 2-1 in the quarterfinals, reports Efe.
“Roberto Martinez started with a small club (Wigan), he did a very good job and went to Everton, and with his experience, style and way of thinking, we are here today, it’s because of him,” Chadli said in a press conference on Sunday ahead of the semifinal clash against France.
Chadli said defeating Brazil gave the team a big boost, but confirmed the team would not get caught up in the hype.
“The enthusiasm in Belgium after the Brazil-Belgium clash is just wonderful. But we have to be with our feet on the ground now,” the West Bromwich Albion player said.
“If you can beat Brazil, you do not have to fear anyone. We respect everybody, but if we play with fear we will not be able to beat France,” Chadli said.
Chadli praised France, calling it a team of high quality that masters the counter attack and paying special tribute to Kylian Mbappe.
“Apart from (Argentine star Lionel) Messi, I have not seen (players) doing things like what Mbappe does at his age, but yet there is no anti-Mbappe plan as we have not spoken yet about how we are going to play,” Chadli said.