2022 World CupThe World Cup is also (at least) three weeks away from home, children and family. But let the Red Devils be reassured: for Roberto Martinez it is a priority to give his players family time. Even if, for practical reasons, all the Devils will not be entitled to it in Qatar.
A big hug to his son, Ciro Romeo and a kiss to Kat: Dries Mertens warmly greeted his family in the parking lot of the Belgium Football Center in Tubize last Monday, just before the Devils rally. He is not the only one. Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld were also accompanied by their families.
Logical, because, once through the door of the Belgium Football Center, the Devils knew that they would be gone for at least three weeks away from home and family. Even if the wives of some Devils have planned to make the trip to Qatar to greet their darlings.
Thibaut Courtois will thus have the opportunity to see his Mishel Gerzig, and even his parents, during the tournament. Parents of the Hazard brothers and Kevin De Bruyne will also make the trip, as will wife Michele Lacroix and KDB’s three children (Mason Milian, Rome and Suri). Just like the famous Kat Kerkhofs, wife of Dries Mertens.
But not all Devils will have the chance to hug their loved ones. Because not everyone has the opportunity to make the trip. The brother and sister of Loïs Openda, who are still at school, the wife of Leandro Trossard, who is pregnant and therefore cannot fly, or even the children of Toby Alderweirled had to give up the jump to Qatar.
During Euro 2016 and during the 2018 World Cup, the Red Devils had the opportunity to see their loved ones. It was more complicated during the last Euro, due to the sanitary conditions and the strict rules linked to the Covid-19 pandemic, but, here again, the coach had granted some family time, in all discretion, to his Devils .
This will still be the case in Qatar, but visits will be limited. For the moment, only one moment of reunion is planned. The doors of the hotel in which the Devils are staying will be open to close families and a few hand-picked guests during the evening and night following the match against Morocco on Sunday 27 November.
A necessity for Roberto Martinez. “The coach also sees his players as men and for him it is important that the players are placed in the best conditions to shine and that they can spend time with their wives and children.”
A very expensive trip
But the trip to Qatar has a price. If the Federation has offered solutions to the wives of players to obtain a flight that is not too expensive, accommodation on site is not given. Just take a look at Booking or Airbnb to realize it: we quickly reach 5000 euros per person, per night. And for a villa, the price can go up to 70,000 euros…
Some wives are also planning to set up their headquarters in Dubai, where housing is much cheaper and where you can easily catch a flight to Qatar. But for families with children, it is necessarily more complicated.
But, if the Devils create a surprise and invite themselves to the final of this World Cup, many of their family members will undoubtedly be on a plane for Doha on December 18. Whatever the price…