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Monday, January 9, 2023 – Portugal have announced the appointment of former Belgium boss, Roberto Martinez, as national team coach following the sacking of Fernando Santos.
Santos was sacked after Portugal’s disappointing World Cup campaign that saw them exit the tournament with a 1-0 defeat by Morocco in the quarter-finals.
Martinez himself had a World Cup to forget with Belgium, which failed to even make it out of the group stage.
The former Everton boss will now be hoping for a fresh start with Portugal.
“I am delighted to be able to represent one of the most talented teams in the world,” Martínez said. “I understand there are great expectations … but I also understand there is a very large team [at the federation] … and together we will achieve our goals.”
Questioned about the future of Ronaldo in the national team, Martínez said that he would contact the 37-year-old, who last month joined the Saudi Arabian club Al Nassr.
“I want to contact all 26 players who were at the last World Cup … Cristiano is a player on that list,” he said, adding that he would “sit down and talk” with the forward, who is his country’s record scorer with 118 goals. Ronaldo was left out of the starting XI by Santos for the final two World Cup matches.
The Portugal football federation’s president, Fernando Gomes, told a news conference as Martínez stood next to him: “I appreciate the enthusiasm and ambition with which he received the invitation. This is an important moment for the national team.”