Belgium tipped to appoint Domenico Tedesco as new coach

Belgium tipped to appoint Domenico Tedesco as new coach

The Belgian Football Association is reportedly set to appoint former RB Leipzig coach Domenico Tedesco ahead of the European Cup. The German-Italian coach will replace Roberto Martinez, who left his job following the disappointing run from the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Reports also claim that Tedesco will be joined by Franky Vercauteren as the new technical director, the title that Martinez also held before. 

The Belgian FA was convinced by Tedesco’s tactical skills and stat-driven approach to the game that made him the federation’s top choice for the position. He is reportedly close to signing a contract through 2024. The Italian-German coach made a name in the German league, leading Schalke 04 and RB Leipzig to success in the Bundesliga. 

He guided RB Leipzig to a German Cup triumph, fourth place in the Bundesliga standings, and the Europa League semi finals. He also had a good run at Spartak Moscow.  Before going to Leipzig, Tedesco guided FC Erzgebirge Aue to the German second division survival for five years. After leading Schalke 04 to the Champions League, Tedesco was sacked the following year after a 7-0 loss to Manchester City. 

Last year, Martinez quit as Belgium coach after their disappointing early exit at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, crashing out as early as the group stage after finishing third in Group F standings. FIFA’s second-ranked side ended their berth in the tournament with a goalless draw against Croatia, who finished behind group winners Morocco. 

The 49-year-old Martinez was appointed in 2016, succeeding Marc Wilmots, who led Belgium to the top of the world rankings for the first time from November 2015 to April 2016. Martinez guided Belgium’s “Golden Generation” to their best World Cup place, finishing third four years ago. They also topped the world rankings from September 2018 to March 2022 under Martinez.

During the qualifiers, Belgium finished on top of their group unbeaten, having won six matches and scoring 25 goals to book their place in the tournament. Heading into the tournament, the Red Devils were defeated in a friendly against Egypt 2-1. In the opening game, Belgium fought hard for a 1-0 win against Canada before a shock defeat to Morocco 0-2 and a goalless stalemate against Croatia. 

Joachim Low, Thierry Henry, and Herve Renard were mentioned as possible candidates for the managerial position, but Tedesco and Peter Bosz ultimately made it to the final shortlist. Belgium will begin their Euro 2024 qualifying campaign in Sweden in March. The Belgians will face Estonia, Austria, and Azerbaijan in their qualifying group.

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