“Cristiano is part of the initial list, he deserves the respect of sitting down and talking”
MADRID, 9 Jan. (.) –
The Spanish coach Roberto Martínez is the new national coach of Portugal after the announcement made this Monday by the Portuguese Football Federation (FPF), which presented the former Belgian coach to the media.
“I am very excited to be here, delighted to be able to represent one of the most talented teams in the world. I knew that this was a project that excited me. I understand that there are great expectations and objectives, also that there is a great team of people behind All together we are going to meet our goals,” said the coach.
Roberto Martínez, in his first appearance, had to deal with various questions about Cristiano Ronaldo, now at Al Nassr in Saudi Arabia. For now, he assured that the player deserves “respect” and that, in principle, he is part of the initial list with which he works.
“Football decisions are made on the pitch, not in the office. My starting point is to get to know everyone and I want to contact all the players, the list of 26 from the last World Cup is my starting point. Cristiano is part of from that list, deserves the respect of sitting down to talk and create, in 10 weeks, the best team for the qualifying matches for the Eurocup”, he explained.
For the Catalan coach, whose last job was as Belgian coach, the important thing is that Portugal is a very competitive team. “In six and a half years (with Belgium) we were unbeaten in 28 games, and in big tournaments there are several aspects that decide who progresses. But Portugal must compete for everything, you have to be a modern team with tactical flexibility,” he argued.
“As a rival, Portugal has always been competitive. That’s my starting point, you can’t lose this. From there, you have to create and never lose competitiveness, and play with great joy. We have to be like a club , work with great unity”, he valued.
For his part, the president of the FPF, Fernando Gomes, assured that his commitment is to start a new cycle with Martínez and close the stage with Fernando Santos, whom he thanked for his dedication and for the successes achieved.
“We are already starting a new cycle that will allow Portugal to reach the 2026 World Cup as one of the top favorites for the title. It is my decision to start this new era now, and not do it after 2024. The new coach is ambitious, used to training players of highest level and with experience in World Cups and international competitions for national teams”, he pointed out.
“Roberto has the coaching profile we want. Our goal is to be in the final rounds of any competition. We are a football country, our clubs train players of the highest level. Portugal is a feared rival,” said the president of the Portuguese federation.