Roberto Martinez Appointed Portugal New Head Coach After Belgium's Departure.

Roberto Martinez has officially been appointed as Portugal head coach.

Martinez replaces Fernando Santos, who resigned five days after Portugal's quarter-final elimination by the Atlas Lions of Morocco at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar last month.

Santos had led Portugal to their first ever international title, winning the 2016 European Championship and the 2018-19 Nations League during his eight years in charge.

However, they won only one of their three group stage matches in Qatar and Santos was dragged for dropping forward Cristiano Ronaldo on the bench for the two knockout matches against Switzerland and Morocco respectively.

Martinez on the other hand, had also stepped down from his role as Belgium coach after six years in charge following their disappointing outing which led to an early exit at the group-stage in Qatar. They finished third in Group F behind Morocco and Croatia.

Speaking on the appointment, Martinez said; "I am very happy to represent one of the national teams with the best talent in the world.

"I am very excited to be here. From the first time I spoke with the president of the federation I knew this was a sporting project that would excite me.

"I understand there are great expectations and big objectives, but there is a great team of people at the federation and I have great excitement that together we can achieve those objectives."

Martinez spent four years as Wigan manager, which included winning the 2013 FA Cup, before a three-year spell at Everton in which they finished fifth once and 11th twice in the Premier League.

The 49-year-old Spaniard was appointed Belgium coach in 2016, he led them to the top of the Fifa rankings in 2018 after the Red Devil's finished third at the World Cup in Russia.

Though, He was criticised by some for not getting more out of the so-called 'Golden Generation' of Belgian players, included Kevin de Bruyne, Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku, as he failed to win major trophies.

He oversaw 61 games during his six-year spell in charge, winning 47 (77%).

Martinez was subject of interest from plenty of national teams and some football clubs as well, but it he has chosen to stay in international management.

"This is an important moment for the national team"... Portugal football president Fernando Gomes added.

Martinez also spoke on Cristiano Ronaldo's future with the national team, claiming he has yet to meet the players.

“Decisions have to be made on the pitch. I want to meet everyone, and starting today.

“Cristiano is part of that list, he spent 19 years with the national team and deserves respect, let’s talk,” he added.

“Tomorrow we’ll start working, getting to know all the players, and Cristiano is one of them.”

Ronaldo has 196 caps for his country and he is the all-time leading goalscorer in men’s international football.

The 37-year-old recently joined Al Nassr in Saudi Arabia following the termination of his contract with former employers Manchester United.

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