Roberto Martinez appointed as Portugal head coach, discusses Ronaldo’s future
Roberto Martinez, a former manager of Everton and Belgium, has been named head coach of Portugal.
The 49-year-old Spaniard succeeds Fernando Santos, who quit following Portugal’s World Cup quarterfinal loss to Morocco last month.
Following Belgium’s group-stage elimination in Qatar, Martinez announced his resignation as their coach after six years in command.
“I am very happy to represent one of the national teams with the best talent in the world,” said Martinez.
“I am very excited to be here. From the first time I spoke with the president of the federation I knew this was a sporting project that would excite me.
“I understand there are great expectations and big objectives, but there is a great team of people at the federation and I have great excitement that together we can achieve those objectives.”
Fernando Gomes, president of Portugal’s national football team, said: “This is a crucial time for the team.”
Martinez managed Wigan for four years, winning the FA Cup in 2013, before moving on to Everton for three years, where they twice ended 11th in the Premier League and once finished fifth.
After being named Belgium’s coach in 2016, he guided the team to third place at the 2018 World Cup in Russia and the top of the Fifa rankings.
During Santos’ eight years in command, Portugal won the 2016 European Championship and the 2018–19 Nations League.
However, they only managed to win one of their three group games in Qatar, and Santos’ decision to bench striker Cristiano Ronaldo for the semifinal games cast a cloud over their campaign.
“My starting point will be the roster of 26 players that competed in the World Cup, and Cristiano Ronaldo is one of them,” Martinez stated.
Decisions will be made “on the pitch and not in an office,” he continued.