News Live Scores
World Cup

Belgium stars have secured their legacy, says Martinez

7:57 PM MYT 17/07/2018
Belgium England WC2018 Meunier Hazard
The Red Devils signed off their free-scoring World Cup with a 2-0 win over England in the third-place play-off to the delight of Roberto Martinez

Roberto Martinez hailed Belgium's team ethic after the country claimed their best-ever World Cup finish with a 2-0 win over England in the third-place match .

Goals from Thomas Meunier and man-of-the-match Eden Hazard gave the Red Devils a deserved victory in St Petersburg.

Meunier's fourth-minute strike made him the 10th Belgium player to find the net during the tournament – equalling a World Cup record – and there was plenty to enjoy from Martinez's bronze-medal winners, with the brilliant playmaking of Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne to the fore.

"I think it's all about that achievement. I think these players deserve that," the former Everton boss told television reporters.

"There's a lot of talk about the group of players. The talent takes you somewhere. I think what we've seen at this World Cup is these players didn't want to rely on talent anymore.

"They wanted to rely on working as a team, becoming a group of players that would do anything to achieve results. The standards have been magnificent, we've got a very good staff around them.

"But they wanted to make the country proud and they wanted to make every single Belgium Red Devils fan proud.

"I think the amount of goals we scored in this tournament speaks for itself. Ten different goalscorers, something that is the best in World Cup history.

"These players have broken records in the right way and I think the legacy should stay for a very long time."

England applied increasing pressure before Hazard made the game safe, with Toby Alderweireld making a superb goal-line clearance to deny Tottenham team-mate Eric Dier.

"England are the best team on dead-ball situations, the best team on the long ball," Martinez added.

"You have to concentrate. I thought the players showed an incredible concentration. Then we should have scored maybe, on another day, [from] four or five really good opportunities.

"To keep a clean sheet is down to the concentration, the desire of the players, and then their talent."