Belgium is Roberto Martinez’s first assignment in international football, and he has done a remarkable job developing an attacking side. Under Martinez, Belgium has successfully qualified for its second consecutive FIFA World Cup.
Martinez joined the Red Devils in August 2016, replacing Marc Wilmots, and guided the team to a third-place finish at the Russia 2018 - its best finish at the FIFA World Cup.
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His team won all the matches to reach the semifinal, but eventual champion France knocked it out. It was under Martinez that Belgium reached No. 1 in the FIFA rankings. In the Euro 2020, Belgium won all the group stage matches but was again knocked out by eventual champion Italy in the quarterfinals.
Despite the failure at the Euro, Martinez continues to persist with his attacking-minded 3-4-3 formation. He replaced old guards Vincent Kompany and Thomas Vermaelen with Toby Alderweireld (Antwerp) and Jan Vertonghen (Anderlecht), while the promising Anderlecht teenager Zeno Debast made his debut in September.
But problems remain with Belgium. In the last four months, it lost twice to the Netherlands despite having Thibaut Courtois, one of the best goalkeepers in modern football, under the bar and three lethal strikers - Romelu Lukaku, Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard - in the forward line.
Also Read | FIFA WC 2022: Belgium fixtures in Qatar, schedule, match timings, where to watch
In the Qatar World Cup qualifying matches, Martinez’s boys pulled their socks up and topped the group, featuring Wales and the Czech Republic. Martinez notched the record for winning highest number of wins after Belgium won four out of its six qualifying matches.
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