UEFA Euro 2020‘s Group B consists Denmark, Finland, Belgium and Russia. A well-matched group with good matchups as three of the four can easily take the top spot. Belgium, also known as ‘The Red Devils’, are the world’s top national team according to the current FIFA rankings and will surely be the favourites from the group and also the tournament. Russia is expected to go through but will surely find a tough challenge from Denmark as Finland would love to prove that they are not in the European championships just to make up the numbers.
Ahead of the start of the tournament, here are the profiles of the coaches of all the four teams:
BELGIUM: ROBERTO MARTINEZ
A Spanish midfielder who carved out a niche in English football, Roberto Martinez has been in charge of Belgium since 2016.The 47-year-old has managed British teams like Swansea, Wigan and most-famously Everton.
Martinez who cites the philosophy of Johan Cruyff as an influence upon his managerial approach, has employed a possession-based football and under him, Belgium rose to first in the FIFA World Rankings.
Martinez succeeded Marc Wilmots, after Belgium lost to Wales in the last Euros in the quarter-finals. Belgium’s ‘golden generation’ are now sure to be among the frontrunners this summer and under Martinez pose a genuine threat.
RUSSIA: STANISLAV CHERCHESOV
Stanislav Cherchesov, the former Spartak Moskva and Russia goalkeeper took charge in 2016 after Russia’s group stage exit at Euro 2016 Leonid Slutski. Cherchesov was tasked to take charge of the Russian National Team for the World Cup to be play on home soil.
After two years of mixed friendly results, Cherchesov’s Russia beat Saudi Arabia (5-0), Egypt (3-1) and the mighty Spain (1-1 and 4-3 on penalties) and reach the quarterfinals for the first time since 1970. Cherchesov hence become the first ever Russian manager, since the collapse of USSR, to bring Russia into the knockout stage of a major tournament.
Cherchesov is expected to carry in his good work, especially as they will again have the support of the vociferous home fans for all their group games in Euro 2020.
DENMARK: KASPER HJULMAND
Appointed to succeed Age Hareide after the originally scheduled finals, the former Nordsjaelland coach took over anyway in July 2020.
Kasper Hjulmand started his managerial career with Lyngby in 2006 and won the Danish title in his first term as Nordsjaelland boss in 2011-12 season. He later joined Bundesliga side Mainz as Thomas Tuchel’s successor.
After a good start, the team slid down the standings and were knocked out of the domestic cup tournament and Hjulmand was shown the door. He returned to Nordsjaelland, leading the Farum-based club to respective finishes in the Danish championship.
He will lead Denmark out in the Euro 2020 after they failed to qualify for the Euros, in the previous edition, for the first time since 2008.
FINLAND: MARKKU KANERVA
Markku Kanerva, who worked as a school teacher already during his playing career, is a five-time Finnish champion with HJK, having spent 12 years with the U21 national team and as assistant to the senior side before taking the senior reins in 2016.
Under Kanerva, the young team of Finland survived for the first time in their history in the UEFA European Under-21 Championship in 2009, for which he was awarded the Coach of the Year in Finland.
In fact, EURO 2020 will be Finland’s first appearance at a major tournament and will hope to spring a few surprises in the delayed European championships.
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