Portugal coach Roberto Martinez defends Cristiano Ronaldo instead of poor World Cup performance

Portugal national team’s new coach Roberto Martinez is standing beside Cristiano Ronaldo even after the Al-Nassr star’s poor performance in World Cup 2022. Coach Martinez says Ronaldo can bring a lot of experience and leadership. Ronaldo delivered amazing performance in Portugal’s ast two matches and will start in June for Euro 2024 qualifying matches.

Portugal coach Roberto Martinez defends and starts Cristiano Ronaldo in Euro 2024 qualifiers even after Al-Nassr captain's poor performance

Cristiano Ronaldo: Roberto Martinez, the new coach of Portugal national team has put his faith in their star striker. Ronaldo was already getting less playing time last year in Manchester United. He then joined the Portugal team from Man United during the World Cup. However, he was again benched by the former coach Fernando Santos due to poor performance. Despite that, their new coach Martinez affirmed fans that Al-Nassr star Ronaldo will be involved with the team for Euro 2024. Follow Football News Updates on InsideSport.IN.

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At the age of 38 years old, Cristiano Ronaldo was not in his best form at Manchester United last year. As coach Erik Ten Hag decided to give him less playing time, he was not happy about it. Before the World Cup started, he did an extremely controversial interview. In this interview with Piers Morgan, he had several bad things to say about his club. This led to the end of his time at Man United. Following this, he joined the Portugal team during the World Cup. There, Portugal’s former coach Fernando Santos followed Ten Hag.

Portugal had an abundance of attcking players in their arsenal. Hence, following controversies and poor performances, Portugal’s former coach Santos decided to bench Ronaldo as well. In the knock-out stages of the World Cup, he called up Benfica star Goncalo Ramos. Ramos delivered on the match as well as he scored a hat-trick. However, Portugal only reached till the quarter final stage. As their new coach Martinez joined in January, the first thing he did was affirm fans that Ronaldo will play a major part in Portugal’s ‘new cycle’. 

He said, “I was appointed on January 9 and had six weeks with the starting point of meeting every player who was in that list of 26 players in Qatar. So you’re talking about going to the five top leagues in Europe, going to Saudi Arabia and being in Portugal and it was fascinating to see every player and how they developed their roles in different dressing rooms in different leagues. At that point you get the opportunity to meet the person behind the footballer and for me, it was a very clear moment.”

Also read: Cristiano Ronaldo TRANSFER to Atletico Madrid possible as Portuguese striker wishes to LEAVE Al-Nassr

Portugal coach Roberto Martinez defends and starts Cristiano Ronaldo in Euro 2024 qualifiers even after Al-Nassr captain's poor performance

Coach Martinez then talked about how Ronaldo can contribute more yet as he said, “I met all the players and in that you see what it means to play football and where they are in their careers. For Cristiano, he wasn’t ready to step away. He was ready and wanting to be a part of the new cycle and at that point it was very easy to include him into the March camp, and then you can make a football decision.”

He added, “He scored four goals, he was a real leader, a captain and someone who brings an experience that no other player has in world football. He’s someone who can reach 200 caps for your country and someone who needs to be used in your dressing room.”

Matinez kept true to his words. He not only included Ronaldo in his squad, but also started him for Portugal’s recent Euro qualifiers. That is, the matches against Luxembourg and Lichtenstein. Ronaldo proved himself by scoring braces in each of these games. At the end of the matches, Portugal now have a 10 goal lead at the top of the Group J table. Following such successive results, he will surely lead the Portugal attack once again in their next Euro qualifiers fixtures. That is, against Bosnia at home and Iceland on road on June 17th and 20th, respectively.

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