Roberto Martinez steps down as Belgium coach after Red Devils' World Cup exit

Roberto Martinez applauds the Belgium fans following the team's 0-0 draw against Croatia in Qatar, which saw the Red Devils knocked out of the World Cup in the group stages.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Roberto Martinez has stepped down as Belgium coach following the Red Devils' World Cup elimination in the group stages on Thursday.

Belgium, ranked second in the world by FIFA, needed to beat Croatia to advance to the last 16 of the tournament but missed a number of clear chances in a 0-0 draw with the 2018 finalists and finished third in Group F – behind Morocco and the Croats.

Martinez led Belgium's so-called 'golden generation' of players to third place at the World Cup in Russia four years ago – their best ever finish in the game's grandest tournament – but failure to make it beyond the group stages this time represents a huge disappointment.

"That was my last game with the national team and it was emotional as you can imagine," Martinez said in his post-match press conference, having refused to address the issue in his pitchside interview straight after the game.

"I was going to stop anyway, whatever happened, even if we had become world champions. I made that decision just before the World Cup."

The former Swansea, Wigan and Everton coach was in charge of Belgium of six years and won 56 of his 80 games.

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Weekend editor

Ben Hayward is Weekend Editor for FourFourTwo. A European football writer with over 15 years’ experience, he has covered games all over the world - including three World Cups, several Champions League finals, Euros, Copa América - and has spent much of that time in Spain. He currently divides his time between Barcelona and London.