As Belgium pursues a major title, veteran defender Thomas Vermaelen is retiring and joining the coaching staff. The news was made public on Friday by the football federation of Belgium. After two and a half years with Vissel Kobe, Vermaelen, 36, was out of contract. He had signed with Vissel Kobe after leaving Barcelona. Vermaelen, who has also played for Ajax, Arsenal, and Roma, will work as an assistant for Roberto Martinez, the coach of Belgium.
He will assist his former teammates in preparing for the World Cup in Qatar, where Belgium’s golden generation of players will attempt to end a string of disappointing performances at major competitions. Vermaelen stated, “This challenge is extremely exciting for me.” Belgium advanced to the semifinals of the 2018 World Cup under the leadership of Romelu Lukaku, Thibaut Courtois, Kevin De Bruyne, Eden Hazard, and Thibaut Courtois. Continue reading Thomas Vermaelen Retires and Is Expected to Join as a Coach