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Apr 15, 2014

Marc Wilmots extends Belgium contract

Aston Villa have confirmed that striker Christian Benteke has been ruled out for the rest of the season and the World Cup after tearing his Achilles tendon.

Belgium coach Marc Wilmots will continue in his role for another four years after signing a contract extension.

Marc Wilmots landed 70 caps for Belgium as a player
Marc Wilmots will continue as Belgium coach after the World Cup.

Wilmots, 45, assisted the country’s previous two coaches Dick Advocaat and Georges Leekens before taking over independently in June 2012.

His contract had been set to expire after the 2014 World Cup, but will now run through qualification for the Euro 2016 tournament in France and the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Belgium have a strong group of players including Eden Hazard, Vincent Kompany, Romelu Lukaku, Jan Vertonghen, Simon Mignolet, Thibaut Courtois and Marouane Fellaini and Wilmots has spoken of his desire to continue developing those players.

"We have made good progress over the past two years, both on the field and off 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."

Belgian FA chief Steven Martens added that Wilmots had been targeted by club sides but was happy the former Schalke boss decided to stay on.

"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 qualified for the 2014 World Cup with 25 points from a possible 30 and are regarded as a dark horse to progress to the competition’s latter stages. It will be their first appearance at a major tournament since the 2002 World Cup.

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