Shock appointment! Roberto Martinez reaches verbal agreement to take Portugal job after Belgium exit

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Roberto Martinez Belgium 2022
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Former Belgium manager Roberto Martinez has reached a verbal agreement with Portugal to become their new head coach.
  • Martinez left Belgium after early WC exit
  • Santos resigned from Portugal mid-December
  • Spaniard's new deal finalised by end of week

WHAT'S HAPPENING? That is according to The Athletic, with the appointment coming just over a month after Martinez left his post as Red Devils manager following a disappointing group stage exit in Qatar. The Spaniard claimed that his departure was planned regardless of Belgium's finish, though, stating: “I don’t resign. It’s the end of my contract... It has been six years. I arrived with the clear idea of qualifying for the [2018] World Cup. Then we became so engaged with the project and won the bronze medal. I’m so proud of these players."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Martinez, who also took charge of Wigan Athletic and Everton between 2009 and 2016, reportedly had offers from clubs and other international teams after leaving Belgium. However, The Athletic note that he has since reached an agreement with Portugal, who parted ways with manager Fernando Santos after their last-eight exit to Morocco in Qatar.

AND WHAT'S MORE: The deal between Martinez and Portugal is expected to be finalised by the end of the week, with an announcement coming shortly after.

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Fernando Santos Portugal World Cup exit

Roberto Martinez

WHAT NEXT? Not long after his arrival is made official, Martinez will take charge of his first competitive match, when Portugal host Liechtenstein in the first round of Euro 2024 qualifiers on March 23.