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Roberto Martinez's perfect start: Transforming Portugal's golden generation into winners

22. March 2024
Roberto Martinez (foto: Getty Images)
The Portuguese national football team, already celebrated for its exceptional talent pool and historic successes, including the European Championship victory in 2016, may have found the key to unlocking its full potential in Roberto Martinez.

Since taking the helm as the first Spanish coach of the Portugal national team, Martinez has led the team to an unblemished record, winning every match under his guidance.   

Martinez, who replaced Fernando Santos, the architect behind Portugal's Euro 2016 triumph, has made an immediate and profound impact. Under his leadership, Portugal has played 11 matches, scoring 41 goals and securing an equal number of victories. Impressively, the team managed to keep a clean sheet in nine of these encounters, showcasing not just offensive prowess but also defensive solidity.   

This remarkable start includes decimating victories such as a 9-0 win against Luxembourg and a 5-0 away win against Bosnia and Herzegovina, signaling a robust and relentless Portuguese side that is flourishing under Martinez's strategic and motivational prowess. Before facing Slovenia, Portugal had won all ten matches in their qualification group, demonstrating their dominance and Martinez's effective adaptation to the international stage.   

Martinez's approach seems to resonate well with the squad, mirroring his tenure with Belgium, where he led the "Golden Generation" to a third-place finish at the 2018 World Cup. Despite the achievements, many felt that Belgium underperformed given their talent. Now at Portugal's helm, Martinez has a chance to amend past criticisms and lead another golden generation to greater heights.   

The seamless blend of tactical acumen, player management, and a clear vision for success positions Roberto Martinez as a potentially transformative figure for Portuguese football. His early success offers promise for a team eager to capitalize on its golden era, blending experienced stalwarts with emerging talents to form a formidable force on the global stage.

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