“We are in a group of six, which means we won’t have any friendly matches in June. I prefer in that way, matches that matter”, Martinez said.
The main threat in the group will be Russia. “They had a fantastic World Cup. Tactically, they were solid. They knocked out Spain and continued to improve. Going to Russia will bring back good memories”, Martinez said when speaking about the World Cup, “I am not worried about how long we could be there. You have to be flexible in football. You have to deal with the different conditions. For example, you might find it very hot in Cyprus”.
Belgium will face Scotland again, after beating them 0-4 in September. “This will be another team. Alex McLeish, the former Genk manager, has done an excellent job. It will be amazing for our fans to go to Hampden Park and I’m looking forward to the Scottish fans coming to Brussels. Both matches will be interesting”.
The rest of the group is made up of Cyprus, Kazakstan and Saint-Marin. “We need to study logistics for Kazakstan. We are better prepared for Cyprus and Saint-Marin. Tough or not, the important thing is to perform well. We are the number one World favourite and we have to accept that. In Switzerland, we practically qualified for the Final Four. We have to learn from that. If a team thinks they have already qualified, they won’t qualify”.