Former Wigan Athletic chief Martinez extends contract with Belgium

Roberto Martinez was back in Wigan last week to attend the Joseph's Goal Charity Ball at Kilhey Court hotel.  Picture by www.nickfairhurstphotographer.com
Roberto Martinez was back in Wigan last week to attend the Joseph's Goal Charity Ball at Kilhey Court hotel. Picture by www.nickfairhurstphotographer.com
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Former Latics manager Roberto Martinez will sign a two-year contract extension today to remain as Belgium head coach until 2020.

Belgium, preparing for the World Cup in Russia at which they will face group games against Panama, Tunisia and England, announced his new deal this morning.

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

The 44-year-old - who guided Latics to FA Cup glory in 2013 – was appointed in August 2016, three months after his Everton dismissal.

He was tasked with replacing Marc Wilmots, who left soon after his side’s Euro 2016 quarter-final loss to Wales.

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.

Latics won the FA Cup under Martinez in 2013 but were relegated a few days later and the Spaniard went to Everton.