MX23RW : Monday, September 24 16:12:20

Roberto Martinez promises "adventurous" Belgium at World Cup

Martinez promises
© Reuters
Belgium manager Roberto Martinez promises that his team will be "adventurous and brave" during this summer's World Cup in Russia.

Belgium manager Roberto Martinez has promised that his side will be "adventurous and brave" at this summer's World Cup in Russia.

Belgium's best-ever performance at a World Cup saw them finish fourth in 1986, but they have been tipped by many to lift the trophy this summer and will go into the tournament as the third-best team in the world according to FIFA's rankings.

Martinez acknowledged that teams such as Germany, who have previously experienced success on the international stage, still have an advantage over his side, but is confident that they have the personnel to go far in Russia.

"Failure is not trying to win. We're going to be adventurous and brave. We're going to try and win every game. But the feelings you develop in the three group games are essential," he told The Guardian.

"We've got the talent but, clearly, a country like Germany already has the belief. When you speak with ex-players from Germany they tell you that when they pulled on the shirt they had no doubt they would win. That psychology is powerful in knockout tournaments. We need to show that mentality and I believe we will because our attitude and talent is very good.

"We have only lost my first game, the friendly against Spain, and since then the players showed incredible focus. Spain was a very interesting game because Julen Lopetegui took over as their manager at a similar time. That was both our first game in charge. It was similar when he took over Porto and we faced each other in a friendly at Everton.

"Spain are in a very good moment. They've got a really good mixture of players that already know what it means to win a major tournament and younger players that have played in this style the last 10 years. From that point we learned a lot tactically and adjusted. We are ready to compete against teams like Spain."

Belgium will kick off their World Cup campaign against Panama on June 18, before taking on Tunisia and England in Group G.

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Eden Hazard in action during the international friendly between Belgium and Portugal on June 2, 2018
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