Sunday, January 29, 2023

Martinez leaves door open for Ronaldo after Portugal appointment

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 9 Jan 2023

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Cristiano Ronaldo will still have the chance to represent Portugal after new head coach Roberto Martinez left the door open for him to compete for the national side.

A move to Al Nassr for Ronaldo after the World Cup came after a turbulent period for the 37-year-old saw him released by Manchester United and then dropped by Fernando Santos during Portugal’s campaign in Qatar.

Now in Saudi Arabia, it has not been clear whether the 196-cap forward’s time on the international stage would end at the start of a new era under Martinez.

However, speaking at his unveiling on Monday, the former Belgium boss confirmed he will talk to Ronaldo, and other players, before making decisions on the squad.

“Decisions have to be made on the pitch. I won’t rush into decisions. I want to meet everyone, and from today I want to talk and meet all the players,” he said at a press conference.

“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.

“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.”

Portugal begin their qualification campaign for Euro 2024 in March against Liechtenstein and Luxembourg.

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