Friday, March 24, 2023

Belgium appoint Domenico Tedesco as new manager

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Belgium confirm the appointment of former RB Leipzig manager Domenico Tedesco as their new head coach to replace Roberto Martinez.

Belgium have confirmed the appointment of Domenico Tedesco as their new manager.

The former RB Leipzig head coach takes over from Roberto Martinez, who stood down from his position after Belgium’s group-stage exit from the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Martinez has since succeeded Fernando Santos as Portugal manager, ending a six-year spell in charge of the Red Devils for the former Wigan Athletic and Everton boss.

Tedesco, meanwhile, was sacked by RB Leipzig in September, and he has signed a contract with Belgium until after Euro 2024.

A statement on the official Belgian football website read: “The Royal Belgian Football Association (RBFA) is proud to announce that Domenico Tedesco has been appointed as the new national team coach.

© Reuters

“A Taskforce was formed within the RBFA at the beginning of December, consisting of RBFA CEO Peter Bossaert and Operational Director Football Jelle Schelstraete, RBFA directors Sven Jacques and Pierre Locht, and Club Brugge president Bart Verhaeghe.

“This Taskforce was tasked with finding a new national coach, as well as advising on the further development of RBFA’s technical core.

“He [Tedesco] is known as a modern coach with top-level international experience, who likes to play an offensive style of football with plenty of forward pressure. His mission is to qualify the Belgian Red Devils for the EURO 2024 in Germany.”

Tedesco claimed that he had a “very good feeling” since first coming into contact with Belgium, adding: “For me it is a great honour to be the new head coach of Belgium.

“I’m really looking forward to the task and I’m extremely motivated. I had a very good feeling right from the first conversation.”

Belgium's Kevin De Bruyne and Charles De Ketelaere look dejected after Morocco's second goal on November 27, 2022© Reuters

Tedesco managed the youth teams of Stuttgart and Hoffenheim before taking on his first senior role with Erzgebirge Aue, and he spent two years in charge of Schalke between 2017 and 2019.

The 37-year-old then moved to Spartak Moscow for a two-year spell before being appointed to the Leipzig post in December 2021, and he won the DFB-Pokal in his first half-season with the club.

However, Tedesco was relieved of his duties in September following a pair of crushing defeats to Eintracht Frankfurt (4-0) and Shakhtar Donetsk (4-1) in the Bundesliga and Champions League respectively.

The Italian won 21, drew eight and lost nine of his 38 matches in charge of Die Roten Bullen, and his first game in charge of Belgium will come against Sweden in Euro 2024 qualifying Group F on March 24.

The Red Devils will also face Austria, Azerbaijan and Estonia in the five-team section, but they could only finish third in their World Cup 2022 group after taking four points from a possible nine against Croatia, Morocco and Canada.

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