Spurs manager target Roberto Martinez wore white to his wedding, dog was bridesmaid and Jordi Cruyff was best man
28th May 2021

TOTTENHAM appear to have found a candidate for the vacant manager's position, who once had his dog as chief bridesmaid at his wedding.

Roberto Martinez, 47, is reportedly set to hold talks with Spurs chief Daniel Levy, with a view to taking over after the Euros, where the Spanish coach will be leading Belgium.


The Wigan legend first arrived on our shores in 1995, where he starred for the Latics as a player from 1995-2001.

He would return to the club as manager – famously leading Athletic to a shock FA Cup win over Manchester City in 2013.

Before that, he met the love of his life Beth Thompson, who was on a student placement at a Glasgow hotel, when Martinez was playing for Scottish side Motherwell.

They wed in 2009 at St Joseph’s Cathedral in Swansea – with their Pomeranian dog Leo as chief bridesmaid and ex-Manchester United star Jordi Cruyff as best man.

EARLY YEARS

Born in Catalonia, current Belgium manager Martínez began his career at his home-town club CF Balaguer in the fourth tier of Spanish football.

At the age of 16, he moved to Real Zaragoza but spent most of his three seasons at the club playing for the youth teams in midfield.

In 1994, Martinez returned to Balaguer where he set-up a football school instead of doing military service.

However, an offer from England would change his footballing life forever.

LOVE OF HIS LIFE

Although football is his passion, the love of his life is Scottish beauty Beth Thompson.

An events co-ordinator, the brunette first locked eyes with Martinez at a Glasgow Hotel, where she was on a work experience in 2002.

The pair became inseparable – and she soon joined her partner on his football journey.

In 2009, they finally said 'I do' at Swansea's St Joseph’s Cathedral in a private ceremony.

Brilliantly, they enlisted their Pomeranian Leo as the chief bridesmaid for their special day.

Former Dutch footballer Jordi Cruyff was best man during the service.


SECRET TO THEIR SUCCESS

Although Beth is a fan of soaps and Martinez isn't, the pair do now share a mutual interest for the beautiful game.

For he lives and breaths football, and she joins him in the sofa to watch games.

"I guess it's a compromise because we obviously want to spend time together," he said.

"Although she's probably given up that little bit more as she tends to have to watch more football than I do her programmes.

"Slowly she has had to understand the game and even has some good opinions now because the poor thing has been dragged into it!

"I don't see it as a job so in that way I don't need time off.

"But she's accepted that and when we first met straight away she understood the way I live is with football."

WIGAN

In 1995, Dave Whelan had a grand plan for then third division Wigan Athletic – and it centred around the 'Three Amigos'.

Martinez was joined by fellow Spaniards Jesus Seba and Isidro Diaz to add some continental flair to a side that lacked inspiration.

In his first season, he finished top scorer with 13 goals in all competition. Fans loved him voting Martinez their Player of the Year, while his impressive performances were recognised when he was named in the Division Three PFA Team of the Year.

The following season, Martinez helped the Latics become Division Three champions in 1997, and again was named in the PFA Team of the Year.

Wigan would win the Football League Trophy with their talisman at the club, although injuries had began to curtail his progress.

In 2000, he was released on a free transfer and signed for Motherwell.


REJUVENTATED IN WALES

With the Scottish club entering administration, Martinez's time at The Well was cut short after just one season.

Then, he had a short ill-fated spell at Walsall, where he got sent off in his first start and couldn't break into the team.

In January 2003, he found a club with an appreciation for his talents in Wales.

Swansea City signed him on a deal to the end of the season, and before the climax to it he was the club captain.

With Martinez pulling the strings in middle of the park, the Swans gained promotion to League One in 2005.


START OF THE MANAGERIAL TRAIL

After a spell at Chester City, Martinez returned to Swansea – in what was initially thought of as a player-manager role.

However, the ambitious coach felt he couldn't combine the two – and hung up his boots aged 33.

His appointment galvanised the side – who lost just once in his first 11 games.

A year later, Martinez inspired Swansea to a League One championship playing a brand of attacking football that was easy on the eye.

Throughout his time in Wales, he was continuously linked to other managerial jobs at bigger clubs.

Celtic and Wigan asked for permission to speak with Martinez, with the latter allowed to hold talks.

He became a Premier League manager in 2009, and would soon win his first piece of silverware.

WIGAN LEGEND

During his Wigan tenure, Martinez flirted with relegation with the unfashionable club.

And although they survived relegation by achieving the great escape in the 2011-12 campaign – winning seven of their last nine games – a year later he couldn't save the club from the drop.

It proved to be bittersweet for Martinez and Wigan, who did embark on a remarkable FA Cup run that same season they toiled in the league.

An incredible 1-0 victory of Manchester City, thanks to a Ben Watson goal, gave the fans something to cheer about.

But just three days after lifting the trophy a 4-1 defeat to Arsenal meant they were relegated from the Premier League.



Martinez would score a job at Everton that same year – leading the club to fifth in his first season.

However, a difficult second campaign – juggling Europa League football with domestic – saw Everton struggle.

He was sacked in 2016, after the club finished 12th. Could his next job in English football be with Spurs?

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