All of Belgium dreamed of it. 49 years after their semi-final at home and especially 41 years after the 1980 final, the Red Devils wanted to regain the last four of the Euro on Friday night by eliminating Italy at the Allianz Arena in Munich. Unfortunately, the selection of Roberto Martinez, who had several chances, was beaten by Squadra Azzurra by the score of two goals to one. A hard defeat in cash for the Belgian selection, three years after the elimination in the semifinals of the 2018 World Cup against the Blues. But for his part, Roberto Martinez congratulated his players.
“There is sadness, obviously. I’m disappointed because I don’t think the players deserved to be eliminated. They have worked very hard to be ready, to go step by step since the start of the tournament. Unfortunately, we faced a very good team today. (…) But I have no disappointment concerning the attitude and the work of my players. They were wonderful and I am sad for them ”, dropped the 47-year-old coach. But this Saturday morning, the hour is more depressed in Belgium.
“The dream is over”
Obviously, the local media only talk about that. “The dream is over”, simply write the Gazet van Antwerpen on its front page, while By Standaard evokes for its part a “Bitter aftertaste” after this cruel elimination. All accompanied by photos of Romelu Lukaku and his teammates shot at the final whistle. Finally, the Het Nieuwsblad simple fact: “Unfortunately: not good enough. The courageous Devils fail in the face of a stronger Italy. ”
The RTBF, she was already looking for the culprits Friday night after the defeat against the Italians. And inevitably, the defender Jan Vertonghen took it for his rank following his recovery error on the opening of the Italian score. Hero of Belgium against Portugal on Sunday in the round of 16, Thorgan Hazard is also targeted, he who was “invisible” according to the media. A real disappointment, again.