Domenico Tedesco says he has turned down several more lucrative offers from clubs to become national coach of Belgium. “Money is not a motivation for me”, he said in an interview with the German magazine ‘Kicker’.
According to media reports, the basic salary of the 37-year-old Italian German is considerably lower than that of his predecessor Roberto Martinez, who was also technical director. The Spaniard left after the early elimination in the group stage at the World Cup in Qatar and has now opted for Portugal.
Tedesco, on the other hand, has been without an employer since his resignation from RB Leipzig in September last year. Afterwards there were offers, also from Bundesliga clubs. “There was interest and there was talk, but everything has to be right. I need to feel that there is room for improvement and that was not always the case.”
After the disappointing World Cup, the European Championship qualifications for the Red Devils will start at the end of this month with a difficult transfer to Sweden. A few days later, a friendly match against Germany follows in Cologne. “We have to restart after the disappointment in Qatar,” said Tedesco. “In Belgium I have a team with individually strong players who are active almost everywhere in Europe. Moreover, it is a football-crazy country.”
With the appointment of Tedesco as national coach, the Belgian federation caused a surprise and it is also a step into the unknown for the coach himself. With – given his young age – relatively little experience at club level, it is his first adventure as national coach, in a selection that includes many roaring names, including Kevin De Bruyne, Thibaut Courtois and Romelu Lukaku. “For me, these are first and foremost important people, with whom I will work in an open, fair and respectful manner. Then it doesn’t matter what their name is.”