BY Kamadi Amata
Portugal have announced the appointment of former Belgium boss Roberto Martinez – who takes over as national team coach following the sacking of Fernando Santos.
Santos was sacked after Portugal a disappointing World Cup that saw them stunned 1-0 by Morocco in the quarter-finals – capping off a camp that was plagued by negative headlines and rumours of discontent in the squad – with Cristiano Ronaldo dropped and falling out with his manager.
Martinez himself had a World Cup to forget with Belgium, who failed to even make it out of the group stage and also had a crisis within the squad – with the Spaniard criticised for struggling to make the most of his talented group during his six-year tenure with the side.
Martinez’ first task will be to help a deflated side regroup after their difficult tournament in Qatar and put their focus into winning Euro 2024, which is set to be held in Germany.
He will also be looking to speak with captain Ronaldo after his turbulent few weeks in Qatar where he is reported to have irked team-mates over his attitude and threatened to leave their camp after being dropped by Santos.
Martinez was asked about Ronaldo but said he would ‘not make decisions in an office’ and wanted to sit down with Ronaldo in the near future.
‘Footballing decisions have to be taken on the field. I am not a manager to make decisions in an office.