Wilmots signs four-year Belgium extension

Belgium's preparations for the 2014 FIFA World Cup have been boosted by coach Marc Wilmots signing a four-year contract extension.

Former Belgium captain Wilmots has been in charge of the national team since 2012 after a lengthy stint as assistant coach.

And the 45-year-old will lead his country to their first major tournament since the 2002 FIFA World Cup in Brazil later this year.

An impressive qualifying campaign has raised expectations among fans, who are hoping the likes of Eden Hazard, Vincent Kompany and Romelu Lukaku can impress in this year's showpiece.

Wilmots is excited about what the future holds for Belgian football and expressed pride at being given the responsibility of leading his country going forwards.

"We have made good progress over the past two years, both on the field and off of it," he told the Belgian Football Association's official website.

"With the help of my technical staff, I am excited to continue to make the most of our group.

"I feel a real pride in having the opportunity to continue my career at the helm of the national team."

Chief executive of the Belgian FA, Steven Martens, was happy with Wilmots' show of faith.

"There is not a shadow of doubt that Marc was courted in recent months, but he quickly clarified that the national team was his first choice," he said.

Belgium will face Algeria, South Korea and Russia in Group H at this year's World Cup.