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Belgium boss Martinez signs extension through to 2022 World Cup in Qatar

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The Spaniard, who guided the side to third place in the 2018 tournament, will get another crack at football’s most coveted prize

Belgium head coach Roberto Martinez has signed a contract extension with the national side that will see him remain in charge through to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Martinez, who had previously taken on managerial roles at Swansea, Wigan and Everton, took charge of the Red Devils in August of 2016.

The Spaniard’s original deal was set to come to an end following Euro 2020 – which has now been shifted back a year due to the coronavirus pandemic – but a two-year extension will see him guide a golden generation of players through two major tournaments, all going well.

The 46-year-old had stated in recent months that it was his desire to remain in Belgium’s dugout for the European Championship, where the nation will face Denmark, Finland and Russia in the tournament’s Group B.

Belgium, who are currently leading the way in FIFA’s official world rankings, qualified for the Euros in stellar fashion, winning all 10 of their matches while conceding only three times and scoring 40 goals.

That, of course, came after the Balaguer-born coach led the team to third place in the 2018 World Cup, beating England in the third-place play-off.

Big things are expected of a side that boasts some incredible talents in the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku and Thibaut Courtois.

Indeed, many of the country’s best players will be in their peak years when the next tournament rolls around, with only Dries Mertens and Thomas Vermaelen approaching their mid-30s ahead of next year’s Euros.

Martinez is set to address the press on Wednesday to comment on his new deal alongside CEO Peter Bossaert, President Mehdi Bayat and Director of Marketing & Communications Manu Leroy.

It was team captain Hazard who had the pleasure of announcing his boss’ extension first, however, with the Real Madrid winger revealing the deal via a FIFA-style pack opening on the team’s official Instagram page.

“Okay, let’s see what coach we will get,” Hazard said. “Suspense, suspense, suspense… no way… it can’t be him. Oh… Roberto. The coach has signed! That’s great. The coach has signed! Ole! Ole!

“Hi Romelu,” he added, in a pretend phone call with Lukaku. “All well? Did you see the coach has signed? Yes, isn’t it great news? Ok, bye bye!”

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