- Roberto Martinez led Belgium to third place at Russia 2018
- He has extended his contract until after Qatar 2022
- “I believe immensely in this group of players,” he said
Roberto Martinez has signed a new contract which will keep him in the Belgium hot-seat until the end of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™.
The 46-year-old Spaniard’s previous deal was due to expire after UEFA EURO 2020, which will now unfold 12 months later due to COVID-19.
“Because of the Euro 2020 postponement we could not possibly end our collaboration already now,” said Martinez. “The RBFA has an ambitious plan that I look forward to with great enthusiasm.”
Martinez succeeded Marc Wilmots after Belgium’s 3-1 loss to Wales in the EURO 2016 quarter-finals. He guided them to Russia 2018 qualification with 28 points from a possible 30.
At the 21st World Cup, Belgium topped Group G above England, produced an exhilarating fightback to eliminate Japan and upset Brazil before losing a tight semi-final against France. The Red Devils then sunk the Three Lions 2-0 for bronze.
Belgium have topped the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking since September 2018.
“I’m very, very happy because this a very ambitious project,” said Martinez. “I’m really excited. I think everything is in place to work towards a beautiful legacy in Belgian football.”
Martinez, who was linked with several prestigious club posts, explained his decision to stay on with Belgium.
“I believe immensely in this group of players. We’ve got a very committed staff and we all know how much the fans love the Red Devils. I feel it wasn’t the time to break that relationship.”