Sochi, Russia: Belgium coach Roberto Martinez said on Sunday that his team was ready to be one of the top squads of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, adding that he expects a tough match against Panama, their first Group G opponent.
Martinez spoke at a press conference ahead of Monday's game, saying Panama will prove to be a dangerous rival because of their faith in their abilities.
"We want to be the best," Martinez said regarding one of the strongest-ever Belgian national teams in history, which was also the quickest European team to book a place in the 2018 World Cup, doing so undefeated.
However, Martinez said that this year's tournament would not be easy, adding that the three round-robin matches are to serve as a test for the team's potential.
The 44-year-old Spaniard also highlighted Panama's path to qualify for their first World Cup, saying they had proved their mettle, especially after eliminating the United States.
After Panama, Belgium is to face Tunisia on June 23 and England on June 28.