Former Belgium boss Martinez anointed head of Portugal national football squad

AFP/File

Roberto Martinez was named as the new coach of Portugal on Monday just over a month after stepping down as boss of Belgium. The 49-year-old Spaniard will take over from Fenando Santos who quit less than a week after Portugal lost in the quarter-finals to Morocco in the 2022 World Cup.

"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".

During his eight years in charge, Santos led Portugal to their first international titles.They beat France to claim the 2016 European championships and they won the 2019 Nations League.

"My point of departure will be the squad of 26 players who played in the World Cup," added Martinez. "And Cristiano Ronaldo is one of them."

The 37-year-old, who is Portugal's record goalscorer, was unveiled last week at the Saudi Arabian first division club Al-Nassr. The move to a less competitive league and his behaviour at the World Cup in Qatar could bring an end to an international career spanning nearly two decades and five World Cup tournaments.

Following a show of petulance after being substituted during the final pool match against South Korea on 2 December at Education City Stadium, Santos dropped him for the last-16 clash against Switzerland.


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