Belgium manager Roberto Martinez was full of praise for striker Christian Benteke after he scored a hat-trick in the 6-0 win over Gibraltar on Monday.
Benteke scored just 8.1 seconds into the match, making it the fastest World Cup qualifying goal in history. The Belgians had an easy time against the little nation, who are competing in their first World Cup qualifiers, with Benteke grabbing a hat-trick and Axel Witsel, Dries Mertens and Eden Hazard also getting on the scoresheet. Martinez was happy to see Benteke grab a hat-trick, as the Crystal Palace player has been in fine form.
“I wanted to use Christian – just because I have seen him very sharp,” Martinez said. “In training I have seen him when he was first called up and now.
“When he was first called up, he was almost rushed. He had a really poor pre-season, he couldn’t settle where he was. He was thinking about the next move.
“Now he is a completely different player. I have seen him strong I have seen him match fit. I wanted to see him today how he could play in a game where we were going to spend most of the time in their half.
“I wanted to see, movement, his hold up play. Not just how he would be in the box so I was pleased.
“I was pleased with the manner that he started in the game, pleased with the contribution, but scoring a hat-trick. and contributing the way that he did is going to be really good for him and he deserves that.”
Belgium tops qualification Group H with 9 points after three straight wins.