Roberto Martinez was the chosen speaker on Sunday during a “Flanders Football” event, organised by the Flemish Federation of Football. The national selector responded to questions from young players and trainers in the cafeteria of KHO Bierbeek.
During the question and answer session, Martinez did not wish to consider the case of Radja Nainggolan, absent from the Belgian selection for the next two meetings of the Devils. The Spaniard briefly stated, “I am particularly attentive to the performance of players in training. If I have a good impression of their performance I select them.” He went on,“We have a list of nearly 60 players who we follow. The federation has a wide network of scouts. We try to go and see their matches as often as possible. It is important to be able to observe how they behave both on and off the pitch, for example how they warm up or celebrate a goal.”
Martinez was then questioned by a young player on the exorbitant amounts of transfer fees which now govern world football. “The prices demanded do not correspond to the actual value of players but clubs are prepared to place these amounts on the table. It is unique to see particular players go on strike over this issue (an example being Ousmane Dembélé before his transfer to FC Barcelona, editor’s note). The love of the club has now become a very rare phenomenon.”
The Catalan says that Belgian football is guaranteed a brilliant future. Martinez said, “Our scouting cell is doing excellent work and I know that numerous Belgians are very talented footballers.” He then finished by indulging in a long session of autograph-signing.