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Martinez turns sights to Belgium’s World Cup bid


Roberto Martinez

Roberto Martinez

Getty Images

Roberto Martinez

Roberto Martinez is focusing on the future with Belgium despite their Euro 2020 elimination last week.

The Spaniard spoke of his “sadness and disappointment” after their quarter-final defeat to Italy in Munich but it is understood it changes nothing in terms of his tenure as Belgium coach.

He is already looking ahead to competing in the Nations League finals in the autumn and trying to steer the Red Devils to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Martinez’s contract runs until the end of those finals and he has every intention of seeing it out.

National federation chief executive Peter Bossaert had earlier told the Belgian radio and television network Sporza: “Tomorrow we are already starting preparations for the September and October matches. Roberto Martinez will be there. No official communication will follow, but there is no reason to change the staff.”

Martinez said after Friday’s defeat to Italy that it was “too raw” to talk about his own future, but is now understood to be ready to focus on the next challenges facing Belgium.

The team were beaten 2-1 by Italy, who advanced to a semi-final against Spain thanks to goals from Nicolo Barella and Lorenzo Insigne, with Romelu Lukaku pulling one back from the penalty spot.

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