Roberto Martinez says Cristiano Ronaldo is part of his plans as new Portugal manager


    Presentation Of Roberto Martinez As Portuguese New National Soccer Team Coach
    Roberto Martinez has got himself another big job (Picture: Getty Images)

    Roberto Martinez says Cristiano Ronaldo is very much in his plans as he takes over as Portugal manager.

    The quite remarkable career of the Spaniard continues after leaving Belgium last month following their shocking group stage exit from the World Cup.

    The really poor ending to his spell with the Red Devils has not held him back and he has become Portugal boss after their exit from Qatar at the quarter-final stage to Morocco.

    Ronaldo, as ever, is at the centre of the conversation, with questions over whether the 37-year-old will remain in the international fold now he has moved to Saudi Arabian side Al Nassr.

    Martinez has not ruled the veteran in or out of future squads, but has confirmed that the striker remains in his plans.

    The former Everton and Wigan boss told a press conference on Monday: ‘Football decisions have to be taken on the field of play.

    ‘I’m not an office decision-making coach. So my starting point is to get to all the players and I want to get in touch with them.

    ‘The list of 26 players from the World Cup is my starting point and Cristiano is a player on that list, he has been with the national team for 19 years and he deserves the respect of being able to sit down and talk.

    ‘From there it is to create, in 10 weeks, the best team for our matches, for the qualification for the European Championship. Today is a day of satisfaction. Tomorrow we will start working, getting to know all the players and Cristiano is one of them.’

    Korea Republic v Portugal: Group H - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022
    Cristiano Ronaldo has not retired from international football (Picture: Getty Images)

    He added: ”From here, there are 54 players in the five biggest leagues who are under 28 years old, we have Benfica and FC Porto in the Champions League. In other words, my job is to give every player an opportunity and respect everyone who is already in the national team.

    ‘From then on, Cristiano Ronaldo is one of them. It is a natural process, work and responsibility and of making important decisions for the team.’

    MORE : Cristiano Ronaldo’s Saudi Arabian debut set to be friendly against Lionel Messi’s PSG

    MORE : ‘He wanted to lead’ – Dwight Yorke explains why Cristiano Ronaldo was fed up at Manchester United

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