Roberto Martinez said he was 'humbled, proud and honoured' after being appointed as the new head coach of the Belgium national team.
The former Chester City midfielder was sacked as manager of Everton in May but is back in football and takes charge of the European Championship quarter finalists, ranked second in world football by FIFA.
Martinez, who has managed Swansea City and Wigan Athletic as well as the Toffees, is tasked with leading Belgium to the World Cup in Russia in two years time and bringing success to a nation that has underachieved at major tournaments in recent seasons.
“I felt this was a great opportunity, a great challenge, and I’m thankful to the Belgian FA,” he told the Guardian.
“I’ve been working with Belgian players and I’ve been intrigued by Belgian football, the talent of the Belgium players is there to be seen.
“I’m humbled, proud, honoured to be the head coach of Belgium as a country. It will be a special journey together, to support these players that have got the world at their feet.”
Martinez made 31 appearances in League Two for the Blues in 2006/2007 after arriving from Swansea City, a club he would return to as manager before the season was out.
The Spaniard was brought to English football by ex-Blues player and manager Graham Barrow back in 1995 when he was in charge of Wigan, signing Martinez, Jesus Seba and Isidro Diaz with the trio, unsurprisingly, dubbed the 'three amigos'.
Barrow was assistant manager to Mark Wright in 2006/2007 and pivotal in bringing Martinez to Chester, with the two becoming close friends.
Martinez wanted to take Barrow with him to Swansea when he left for South Wales and the two linked up again when the Spaniard took over at Wigan in 2009. Barrow remains at the Latics where he is assistant manager to Gary Caldwell at the Championship club.
Barrow spoke to the Chronicle earlier this year on his time with the Blues and spoke on his friendship with Martinez.
"He commanded the respect of players and was always a highly intelligent man with an excellent knowledge for the game," said Barrow.
"What he has achieved in the game as a manager speaks volumes.
"I'd be lying if I thought he was going to be a Premier League manager when he was playing for me, but such is the kind of person that Roberto is, it's not such a surprise to see him do so well and I'm very thankful to him for giving me the opportunity he did at Wigan."
Martinez returned to Chester FC for a pre-season friendly with his Wigan side during the first year of the club's rise from the ashes of Chester City in 2010, with his Latics team on the wrong end of a 4-0 decision.
Afterwards he told the Chronicle: "The history of the football club should never have been put in danger, but this is a fresh start and now I can see a bright new future.
“I could see the passion and the energy in the supporters – they were really enjoying it again. Then I looked at the players and I could see they have a great togetherness and a great desire to play for Chester FC."