Roberto Martínez: “Hazard has had very, very bad luck”
“I am convinced that Hazard will be decisive at the end of the season” 10 “The Euro? This summer was a perfect time for a major tournament.” How is the communication with the players?We have taken the opportunity to look at all the accumulation of data that we had about them, which are now more in club dynamics, with their detailed and specific programs.What do you think of the postponement of the Euro Cup?We had the UEFA congress and saw the need not to press for domestic competitions. Periods had to be opened to end the domestic leagues. It was a decision of necessity, of force majeure. After two years of work, with a perfect classification and the group in a good psychological and team moment, the tournament was in a good moment for us. But it was the right decision. Now, to focus on the League of Nations.For his 30 points out of 30 and the accumulation of stars in top clubs, was this your great opportunity?We wanted to get more prepared after the 2018 World Cup and it was achieved, gaining depth of squad, team play and experience, with a tight-knit group. It was a perfect time for a major tournament, but we have to try to improve, not to think that we cannot reach the level that we thought we would reach this summer. Are you in contact with Zidane?Not lately. We have it when there is need, such as when Eden arrived and was injured in the first international break. The relationship with Madrid is very good. Also with the other clubs, and that is not easy. It helps me to have been in clubs for many years to understand both positions.The one who was doing very well was Courtois.It has always been clear that he was aware of what it takes to be the ‘1’ of Madrid. It came at a time of change, quite difficult, but he was always very focused to demonstrate what it is. Since Galatasaray in Champions has been seen, from there it has been essential in the results. He is still very young and can undoubtedly break all records in Madrid’s goal. It is with that confidence and with that illusion and desire to demonstrate what is inside.Did you have more affection for him in September and October?No, he is a person who is far above emotions. It knows how to focus a lot on what it can control and it closes tightly on the highs and lows. He has probably been the most consistent in Belgium in the last 46 games, never reflecting any emotional state that might come from his club. His maturity is well above his years. The most positive thing is for Hazard?We were very confident that he would get well because he does not need, when he is discharged, much time to reach his level. The deadlines were good enough for him to play for Madrid the last few days and come with Belgium. Now we are concerned with players who may have a team change, a game change elsewhere, or the older ones, with specific cases such as defense. They have a lot of experience, they have been playing together a lot, also at those ages because of their performance, not because there are no other options, because there are young people who can help the team.What did Hazard say to him?It is very sensible, calm, familiar. Is always happy. He is focused on recovering as soon as possible to miss the minimum number of games. He was very focused on recovering well and soon for the European Championship; Now all he has to do is focus on whether he can play a very important role with Madrid this season, which I am sure he does.Trust him a lot.It has the perfect character to be able to react as needed when there are situations such as the operation or the postponement of the Euro.Did you ask for advice on whether to have surgery?No. That had to go from the medical side and there was always great communication between Madrid and us. Madrid have led him with excellence, very close to the doctors who have followed Hazard in his career. How do you reconcile it with the family?I have a seven-month-old girl and a six-year-old girl. I did not know the first months of my first daughter for being in charge of a club, and this period at a human and home level is being very beautiful. I have the opportunity to be my daughter’s teacher, something that tests you because it is much more difficult than you can imagine.What do you miss the most?You have to adapt, I have never been wanting what I do not have. I only remember the people who are affected and those around them. I see myself privileged because I am with the family; it would be very hard, almost impossible, separated. Hopefully we all get the best out of this and realize that we as humanity were not prepared to face a pandemic. We have to be prepared for when normalcy returns.What is the first thing you will do then?Gather the whole family in one room, a normal dinner. My parents are over 75 years old, they are a population at risk, and that requires discipline. The lack of contact, also with those of my wife, is missed. A normal dinner. Soccer teaches you to expect what is not expected and to survive. How much talkHe is the captain and there is always contact at essential and important moments for the future of the team. He is at the perfect age to take responsibility at a club like Madrid and Belgium, number one in the world.He has defined his first white season as bad.It is fully adapted to the League and Madrid. His only problem has been injuries. You have been very, very unlucky. Luck plays a huge role in any component of football and he has missed more games this season than he has in eight years at Chelsea. That is bad luck and I am convinced that very soon that luck will change, and he will be able to be a decisive and stellar player. There are no equal days in quarantine, but how is your routine?15 years ago it would have been very very difficult. Now are very hard times, but with the internet there is a lot of help to work and structure everything. Every morning I can be connected with the Federation and work on the different projects that do not depend on soccer. From there I spend many hours. “We all know that Courtois is going to mark an era in Madrid” It is the best in the world?Definitely. The World Cup was the reflection: it was the best. Being the best in the World Cup, reaching Madrid and its qualities and size allow it to do things that others cannot.Has it been good this year to remove the debate with Keylor?He is a player who understands, and very well, that when you don’t win a match in a team that demands Madrid, you have to be very mature and improve to do the next one. It is very troublesome when you are not ready for that, but Courtois is, it does not affect his confidence and his level. It has constantly adapted and improved. We all know that it will mark an era, an era, in Madrid.You finish contract in June. How is the renewal?We have had contacts and talked a lot about the ideas for the future of the Federation and the team. They were quite positive. We will wait at the end of the June break to see if it develops, and we will announce the result. 1 STORY OF A CONFINEMENT: FROM BELGIUM TO WIGAN“We started learning about the coronavirus from the first cases, in China. With the monitoring of our players we are presented because football is canceled there, where we had still to Carrasco, Fellaini and Dembélé. It was clear that there was a problem. When he arrives in Italy, the consequences were much closer. I kept traveling, but the last game was Leipzig-Tottenham. On the return of that all were canceled and covered Spain. There I decided to isolate ourselves with the family in the United Kingdom and be more aware of the complex situation. of the community. I chose England because we are closer to my wife’s family and the family’s risk groups in general. It is a more comfortable isolation because it is in an area between Liverpool and Manchester, in the north, in the town of Wigan, on the outskirts, very rural, with only 460 inhabitants. Here I learned the British language, football and culture. I won the FA Cup. People are very fond of me. I was very happy. They are stories that are not forgotten … “.