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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 19 December 2018

Roberto Martinez extends contract with Belgium national football team to 2020

Belgium preparing for World Cup at which they will face group games against Panama, Tunisia and England

Roberto Martinez was appointed Belgium manager in August 2016. Francois Lenoir / Reuters
Roberto Martinez was appointed Belgium manager in August 2016. Francois Lenoirย / Reuters

Roberto Martinez will sign a two-year contract extension today to remain as Belgium manager until 2020.

Belgium, preparing for the World Cup in Russia at which they will face group games against Panama, Tunisia and England, announced the former Everton former's new deal on Friday morning.

The Belgian Red Devils posted on Twitter: "R. Martinez will renew his contract today ! #2moreyears #REDTOGETHER #WorldCup"

The 44-year-old manager was appointed in August 2016, three months after his Goodison Park dismissal, tasked with replacing Marc Wilmots, who left soon after his side's Euro 2016 quarter-final loss to Wales.

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Belgium had also reached the last eight at the 2014 World Cup under Wilmots before losing to Argentina and were among the favourites to become European champions two years later.

The Red Devils were second in FIFA's world rankings when Martinez took up the reins, and he oversaw an unbeaten World Cup qualification campaign with nine wins and one draw in the group stage.

They now lie third in the rankings, behind world champions Germany and Brazil.

Martinez began his managerial career in 2007 after arriving in Britain from his native Spain to play for Wigan, Motherwell, Walsall, Swansea and Chester.

He took Swansea into the Championship before accepting the opportunity to take over Premier League Wigan in 2009. Wigan won the FA Cup under Martinez in 2013 but were relegated a few days later and the Spaniard went to Everton.