Football: Roberto Martinez becomes Portugal’s coach
Spaniard Roberto Martinez has been officially appointed as Portugal coach, the Portuguese Football Federation announced on Monday.
A Spaniard at the head of Portugal. Roberto Martinez, former Belgium coach, takes over from Fernando Santos at the helm of the Seleçao.
The former Everton manager saw his contract ended after managing Belgium from 2016 until their World Cup elimination in 2022.
With Cristiano Ronaldo?
The first challenge for the 49-year-old coach, whose contract term has not yet been specified, will be clarifying the role of Cristiano Ronaldo, who after a controversial World Cup has just offered a golden exile with a move to Saudi club Al-Nassr.
“My starting point will be the group of 26 players who played at the World Cup and Cristiano Ronaldo is one of them,” Martinez said at a press conference.
Martinez took over the management of Belgium in 2016. The team reached the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup, beaten by France. The Red Devils have been at the top of the FIFA World Rankings for more than three years.
The Portuguese team is also recovering from a long period of stability after eight years under the leadership of Fernando Santos, who offered them the first major titles in their history: Euro 2016 and the first edition of the League of Nations in 2019.
But the elimination of the Seleçao in the quarter-finals of the 2022 World Cup against Morocco (1-0) stopped the good time.
Note that the Portuguese press recently reported that the federation wanted to sign fellow countryman José Mourinho, who is at AS Roma.