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Roberto Martinez has had his say on Cristiano Ronaldo’s future for the Portugal national team.
The ex-Belgium manager has taken over from Fernando Santos in the hot seat, with Santos having ended his eight-year stay in the dugout after the nation’s quarter-final elimination from the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Martinez also left his national team role with Belgium after the tournament, with the Red Devils not even making it out of the group stages of the competition.
But the ex-Everton and Wigan boss has now been appointed as the new manager of Portugal, and has revealed his exact plans for all of his potential players going forward, including Ronaldo.
Martinez to speak with Ronaldo
Ronaldo’s club career has somewhat taken a strange turn in recent times, with the iconic forward released by Manchester United after a controversial interview in which he criticised the Premier League outfit.
The 37-year-old has since made a switch to Saudi Arabian side Al Nassr, with the forward recently revealing that he had received plenty of interest from clubs around the world.
But his struggles have not been limited to club football, with Ronaldo dropped by Santos during Portugal’s World Cup campaign.
He was not chosen for the round of 16 meeting with Switzerland, with his troubles furthered when his replacement Goncalo Ramos netted a stunning hat-trick.
The ex-Real Madrid man was also left on the bench from the start against Morocco in the quarter-final, before making an appearance in the second half.
Despite the struggles, Martinez has confirmed that he will at least talk to Ronaldo as he looks to configure his Portugal team going forward, as reported by LiveScore.
“Decisions have to be made on the pitch,” said Martinez, speaking at his unveiling as Portugal manager on Monday. “I won’t rush into decisions.
“I want to meet everyone, and from today I want to talk and meet all the players. Cristiano is part of that list. He’s had 19 years in the national team and deserves respect, let’s talk.
“From there, it’s up to me to make the best list for the European Championships.”
Martinez to ‘get to know’ Man United legend
Portugal have been drawn to face Bosnia, Iceland, Slovakia, Liechtenstein and Luxembourg in Euro 2024 qualifying. Martinez has reportedly signed a four-year deal with Portugal, following on from his six-year spell in the dugout at Belgium.
He won 47 of his 61 games as manager of the Red Devils, who went into the 2022 World Cup sitting second in the FIFA world rankings.
But a defeat to Morocco and a draw with Croatia, following a win over Canada, saw the country eliminated from the World Cup group stages for the first time since 1998.
Speaking further at his unveiling, the new Portugal boss said: “Tomorrow we will start working to meet all the players, and Cristiano is one of them.
“We will start a football process to try to get to know all the players who will be able to join this team. We will give a chance to all players and respect all who are already in the team.
“I’m delighted to have them by my side. It’s a process that we have to face naturally, responsibly, and we’re going to make important decisions for the team.”
Um novo 𝗟𝗶́𝗱𝗲𝗿 ao serviço de Portugal 🇵🇹: bem-vindo, Mister Roberto Martínez! 🤝 #VesteABandeira
— Portugal (@selecaoportugal) January 9, 2023
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