Belgium head coach Roberto Martinez handed two-year contract extension
Spaniard refuses to be drawn on future of assistant coach Thierry Henry, beyond this summer's World Cup in Russia
Last Updated: 21/05/18 10:36am
Roberto Martinez has agreed a two-year contract extension to remain as Belgium head coach until after Euro 2020.
Martinez was appointed as the boss of the Red Devils in August 2016 and led the national team to an unbeaten World Cup qualification campaign for this summer's competition in Russia.
Belgium, ranked third in the world rankings, won nine of their 10 matches and have been drawn alongside Gareth Southgate's England, Tunisia and Panama in Group H.
The 44-year-old Spaniard has impressed in his first stint as an international coach and has been handed the responsibility, on the same terms as his previous contract, of leading Belgium to the next major international competition, being hosted across 12 European cities.
"The reason I am delighted to carry on is because I believe in the players. I think there is a something special. As a whole I believe in Belgium football. It is a no-brainer," Martinez said at a news conference.
"This is a pure football decision. I feel that the job is not done - whatever happens in the World Cup.
"I would like to give the experience that I had in the game to help the young players come through. There is a bigger picture than just the results on the pitch."
Graeme Jones and Richard Evans, Martinez's assistant coaches, have also agreed respective new two-year deals.
Thierry Henry has worked as part of the backroom staff since Martinez was appointed but the former Everton and Swansea boss refused to comment on whether he will remain after the World Cup, with the former Arsenal player set to hold talks with the Gunners over their vacant manager's position.
"The only thing that matters is the World Cup. We shouldn't be talking about anything else than that," Martinez said.
"Thierry is a big part of our technical staff. After the World cup, as it happens with any team and organisation, we will get ready for the next challenge.
"The only thing that matters is to prepare the players well. As soon as anything develops after the World Cup we will announce it.
"We have got a structure of developing young players, that is opening the eyes in world football and we need to be in that manner. We will not allow anything to suppress this."
“The failure will be not to try and win. We are going to do everything to get the best out of our team and try to enjoy a World Cup to remember."
Roberto Martinez on Belgium's World Cup hopes
The Royal Belgian Football Association [RBFA] had earlier said Martinez's desire to promote younger players since his appointment, along with his experience in England's top flight were pivotal factors in his contract being extended.
"Thanks to his Premier League past, Martinez is close to the world of the current generation of Red Devils, with whom he maintains close ties," read a statement from the RBFA.
"The contract between the two parties was extended according to the same conditions as in 2016. Within this context, the RBFA appreciates Roberto Martinez' passionate motivation to continue to reinforce the Red Devils in the future.
"The fact that, from his appointment in 2016, he visited different football clubs and academies and observed numerous players during official matches, contributes to his drive to continuously strengthen the Belgian team."