Martinez de Bruyne wants to help Lukaku become the next generation of Belgian coaches

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Retrieved 20 May 2020, 18:08 IST

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Martinez wants to make sure Belgian stars continue to help the country beyond their playing days

Roberto Martinez hopes that some of Belgium’s golden generation stars will help them rise to the next group of the country’s top coaches.

After extending his contract until Wednesday 2022, Martinez is enjoying the opportunity to take charge as both team director and technical director of the Royal Belgian Football Federation (KBVB).

He also wants to help star players like Kevin de Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku take the next step in challenging them to win the European Championship and World Cup glory in the next two years.

He is hopeful that the star-studded squad will influence the future of Belgian football beyond their playing days.

“This is a real opportunity,” Martinez told reporters about the two roles.

“In Belgium, both jobs overlap in different ways. It allows you to focus on the games, but there is a really good opportunity to work towards the vision we have in Belgian football.

“I work on different projects in both professional and amateur football and then connect the two.”

He added: “It’s about the development of young players, we’re trying to get first place in the FIFA rankings with all the expectations these young players need to be Red Devils.

“And then with the development of the current Red Devils, it’s very important for our players to think as coaches now. I’m convinced that these players will influence the future of Belgian football as coaches.

“I already see Jan Vertenzen or Axel Witsell, Kevin de Bruyne, Dries Mertens, Thomas Munier, Romulu Lukaku, the list goes on – these players will become coaches and will influence the future of Belgian football.

“It’s important with the global approach to these two positions, I can really get involved in that journey.”

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

They faced Russia, Denmark and Finland in the Euros, which will now be held in 2021 due to the coronavirus epidemic.