By the time the quarterfinals stage came around, a lot of big teams were conspicuously missing from the World Cup 2022 fixtures. Some of those teams had to say goodbye to their World Cup dreams along with their managers. Here are three popular managers who lost their jobs following their team’s exit from the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Some were expected to do better than others, and this piece will look at what went wrong for them in this campaign.
Roberto Martinez stepped down as manager of the Belgium national side following his side’s departure from the group stages in this World Cup. Martinez was the manager of the Belgian national side for six years and came very close to glory in the 2018 World Cup when the side lost out narrowly to eventual winners France in the semifinals.
That felt like the last real opportunity for a group of players dubbed the ‘Golden Generation’ to win one of the major trophies. With many of their stars from that era like Vincent Kompany retiring and others like Eden Hazard waning with age, the team was on a downward slope heading into this World Cup. The feeling around Martinez’s time in charge, prior to this tournament, was that they mostly played to their level but never managed to push beyond that. For Martinez, it was a pitiable end to what was a decent spell in charge.
A special mention goes to Roberto Martinez who has been very important over the last 6 years. Wishing you all the best, coach! pic.twitter.com/xRvMpCjkba
— Toby Alderweireld (@AlderweireldTob) December 5, 2022
Many will remember Martinez for being at the helm of Swansea City when they broke through into the top tiers of English soccer in the late 2000s, following which he showed his wares with a struggling Wigan Athletic for four years. His next two jobs, with Everton and Belgium, didn't have moments where he broke through his own ceiling and it will be interesting to see where Martinez heads to next. With soccer's meteoric rise in the United States, and with the next World Cup being co-hosted here, soccer futures betting on outcomes like who manages a team next will become mainstream. More and more states are showing the green flag to legal online betting – Maryland sports betting debuted in the same month as when the World Cup started – and soccer betting is all set to grow beyond just match-based outcomes.
Under Luis Enrique, Spain overachieved in the 2020 Euros by making it to the semifinals, and beating Costa Rica 7-0 in Spain’s first game of this World Cup – but it was all downhill from there.
After his team’s departure in the round of 16 to Morocco on penalties, both Enrique and Spain decided it was time to part ways. Enrique was a very polarizing figure during his time in charge of the Spanish side, making some controversial changes in the goalkeeping department, constantly getting into tussles with local media figures, and aggressively promoting younger players like Pedri and Gavi.
His time as Spain's manager from 2018 to 2022 will probably only be remembered fondly many years later – some of his decisions will definitely impact the team in the long term, but for now, it's an acrimonious exit.