Louis van Gaal missed out on the opportunity to manage Belgium after a ‘boring’ preliminary interview.
Looking to replace head coach Marc Wilmots after a disappointing Euro 2016, Belgium interviewed a number of potential candidates for the vacant position.
One was Van Gaal, who had just left Manchester United after two underwhelming seasons as manager.
However, the Dutchman failed to progress past the first stage of interviews after ‘boring’ the Belgian federation in initial talks, it is claimed. Adam Crafton of the Daily Mail writes:
‘Van Gaal was asked to outline his vision for the team and Belgian football moving forwards but sources close to the discussions have confided that the the Belgian dignitaries found the Dutchman’s philosophy to be both ‘draining and exhausting.’
Indeed, it is believed that upon leaving the meeting, there was a feeling among the Belgians that their talented generation of footballers would not respond to Van Gaal’s methodical and painstaking approach to analysis.’
Roberto Martinez was eventually appointed manager, with the Spaniard having recently been sacked by Everton himself.
And despite being booed in his first game in charge, it is understood that he impressed officials with his ‘flawless’ presentation. Crafton adds:
‘Martinez, for his part, made it down to the final stage of interview and he was asked to dissect the Belgium defeats by Italy and Wales during the European Championship.
‘It is believed that Martinez produced a flawless and clean five point video demonstration of how Belgium needed to improve to push on at the World Cup in 2018. When he left the room, the figures involved in the interview turned to each other simultaneously and agreed Martinez was the right man for the job.
‘Martinez began his reign with a 2-0 friendly defeat by Spain in Brussels on Thursday evening. His team begin their World Cup qualifying campaign with a trip to Cyprus on Tuesday evening.’