Belgium head coach and technical director Roberto Martinez is out following a group stage exit at the World Cup.

The Red Devils drew against Croatia, but finished behind the 2018 runner-up by one point. Morocco, which defeated Belgium in matchday two, advanced as group winners following its win over Canada.

Following the match, Roberto Martínez spoke to the media. There, he announced that the draw against Croatia was, indeed, his last game in the position.

Martínez took over as head coach of Belgium in August 2016. Back then, Everton sacked Martínez from manager at Goodison Park after a poor season. In 2015/16, the Toffees finished 12th, but reached the semifinals of both the League Cup and FA Cup. He took over a Belgium side that lost to Wales in the quarterfinals.

In Martínez’s tenure with Belgium, the side finished third at the 2018 World Cup. At Euro 2020, Belgium reached the quarterfinals. In both instances, Belgium lost by one goal to the eventual champions.

Roberto Martínez out as Belgium coach after World Cup blunder

Despite the shock exit, Martínez always saw the 2022 World Cup as his last foray with the Belgium national side. Yet, the four points earned in the group stage and the failure to reach the round of 16 perhaps decided his fate for him.

Now that Martínez is out of the Belgium job, his coaching exploits are available elsewhere. In fact, The Telegraph reports that Martínez wants to return to the club game. The Spaniard has experience with Wigan, Swansea and Everton, and could be poised for s return to England.

Moreover, Everton offered Martínez the chance to return to Goodison Park earlier this year. While the manager expressed interest, he wanted to take on both the Everton job and the Belgium head coaching role at the same time. Now, he is out of the job with Belgium.

Guillem Balagué reports that Martínez often talked about the legacy he would leave as the Belgium head coach. Belgium has never won a major international trophy. However, it had the talent to do so. Third place in 2018 was the closest Belgium came to the World Cup.

Croatia and Morocco, not Belgium, will have an opportunity for glory for this year’s World Cup.

PHOTO: IMAGO / Agencia MexSport

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