Martinez wants to help De Bruyne, Lukaku become next generation of Belgium coaches

By Sports Desk May 20, 2020

Roberto Martinez hopes to help some of the stars in Belgium's golden generation become the next group of the nation's top coaches.

After extending his contract until 2022 on Wednesday, Martinez is relishing the opportunity to serve as both team manager and technical director for the Royal Belgian Football Federation (KBVB).

As well as bidding to challenge for European Championship and World Cup glory over the next two years, he wants to help star players like Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku take the next step.

He is optimistic the star-studded squad will be impacting the future of Belgian football beyond their playing days.

"It's a real opportunity," Martinez told reporters about holding the two roles.

"In Belgium both jobs overlap in many ways. It allows you to concentrate on the games but in between there is a real good opportunity to work towards that vision that we have for Belgian football.

"I work on many different projects in both professional and amateur football, and then linking the two."

He added: "It is about the development of young players, trying to get those young players everything they need to become Red Devils with the expectations that we have being number one in the FIFA rankings.

"And then the development of the current Red Devils, it is very important that our players now start thinking as coaches. I have got a strong belief these players will affect future of Belgian football as coaches.

"I can see already Jan Vertonghen or Axel Witsel, Kevin De Bruyne, Dries Mertens, Thomas Meunier, Romelu Lukaku, the list goes on – these players will become coaches and will affect future of Belgian football.

"It is important with that global approach of those two positions, I can really be involved in that journey."

Under Martinez, Belgium finished third at the 2018 World Cup and have lost just three of his 43 matches.

They were drawn to face Russia, Denmark and Finland in the Euros, which will now be held in 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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