Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Roberto Martinez has replaced controversial Fernando Santos as the Portugal men’s football team’s new head coach. The new coach on Tuesday revealed his plans regarding superstar Cristiano Ronaldo in the team post the FIFA World Cup 2022 exit in the quarterfinal stages.

“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,” said Martinez.

“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,” he said.

The couch further added, “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.”

Notably, Ronaldo was in the news during Qatar Football World Cup 2022 as the 37-year-old was benched by former coach Santos for the Round of 16 match against Switzerland and the quarter final against Morocco.