The national coach said: “His experience during his exceptional career, whether at the club or with the Red Devils, is a great asset to our coaching staff.” “Due to his recent role and achievements in the last European Championship, his introduction to the staff at the upcoming training in March will go smoothly. Due to the fact that he knows the group and due to his enthusiasm during the coach’s course at KBVB, his transition from player to coach will happen naturally. We are really happy!”
“I am really looking forward to this challenge and I am very proud, happy and especially grateful to be one of Roberto Martinez’s assistants in preparing for the World Cup in Qatar,” Vermaelen said.
Thomas Vermaelen and his Japanese club Vissel Kobe decided to end their collaboration last month. The defender’s expired contract has not been extended, which means he can move to another club for free at the beginning of February. But it didn’t get that far. The Antwerp resident puts an end to his active career with immediate effect. However, he does not turn his back on football, but becomes an assistant to the national coach Roberto Martinez in the Red Devils. After all, there was a place on the Spaniard’s crew after assistant Sean Maloney moved to Hibernian at the end of 2021 and Thierry Henry’s future plans remain unclear.
A new career turnaround for Vermaelen, who has already been praised for his footballing vision during his football career. So he has been following a training session since March 2020, just like a number of his fellow Red Devils. The purpose is not to let the knowledge of this group of players go to waste. After all, many footballers of this golden generation for years played at the absolute top, in the biggest clubs in Europe.
Vermaelen has been playing football for Vissel Kobe since the summer of 2019. The Red Devil 85 times (2 goals) then left Barcelona on a free transfer. He has been with the larger Catalan club from the summer of 2014, with a season in between on a lease basis at AS Roma (2016-2017). Prior to that, he defended the colors of Ajax (2003-2009), with a loan period to RKC Waalwijk (2004-2005), and Arsenal (2009-2014) in between.