Roberto Martinez leaves role as Belgium manager after World Cup group-stage exit | Football News

Belgium manager Roberto Martinez has announced he is stepping down from his role on the back of a woeful group-stage exit at the World Cup.

Martinez guided Belgium to third place at the World Cup in Russia in 2018, in what was considered a golden generation for the country.

Despite a winning start in Qatar, a shock defeat to Morocco and a goalless draw against Croatia meant Belgium made a shock exit from the 2022 tournament without reaching the knock-out stages.

Martinez, speaking immediately after Belgium’s elimination, said he had not resigned but would not be renewing his contract.

“Yes, that was my last game. It has been six years,” he told reporters. “I arrived with the clear idea of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup. Then we became so engaged with the project and won a bronze medal. I’m so proud of these players. It has been amazing.

“It has been six years where we’ve been able to do everything you want to do. The team has given people real joy. But this is the time for me to accept [it is over]. I don’t resign. It’s the end of my contract.

“Since 2018 I had many opportunities to leave and take jobs at club level, but I wanted to stay loyal.”

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