Martinez: ‘If I had 12 players…’

Belgium Coach Roberto Martinez explains he’d have called-up Radja Nainggolan for the World Cup “if I could play 12 players”.

The midfielder, then at Roma, was controversially excluded from the squad and announced his international retirement.

The decision didn’t seem to affect the squad though, as the Red Devils reached the semi-finals of the tournament.

“It would have been easier for me to select the most popular players,” Martinez pointed out, speaking to voetbalnieuws.be.

Belgium Coach Roberto Martinez explains he’d have called-up Radja Nainggolan for the World Cup “if I could play 12 players”.

The midfielder, then at Roma, was controversially excluded from the squad and announced his international retirement.

The decision didn’t seem to affect the squad though, as the Red Devils reached the semi-finals of the tournament.

“It would have been easier for me to select the most popular players,” Martinez pointed out, speaking to voetbalnieuws.be.

“I came to Belgium to succeed though, I don’t look at a player’s name or his past, I just look at the way someone works when I work with him.

“These are difficult decisions, but that’s why I’m here and that’s what’s asked of me.

“Nainggolan? The reason was tactical: I couldn’t give Radja the role he had with his club. If I could play 12 players he’d have been there.”

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