Why I didn't force Ronaldo into retirement - Portugal coach Martinez reveals

Cristiano Ronaldo has been a Nike athlete his entire career

Why I didn't force Ronaldo into retirement - Portugal coach Martinez reveals

Akan Anwankwo 17:47 - 31.05.2023

Roberto Martinez said it was not a difficult decision to include Cristiano Ronaldo in his plans despite having a bad out at the 2022 World Cup.

Portugal coach Roberto Martinez has revealed that the reason he kept Cristiano Ronaldo in the national team was his desire to keep on playing.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner fell out with former coach Fernando Santos at the 2022 World Cup where the Selecao crashed out in the quarter finals.

On the other hand, Martinez was also relieved of his duties after failing to qualify Belgium beyond the round of 16 stage.

Cristiano Ronaldo | PulseSports.ng
Cristiano Ronaldo

The former Everton manager was made coach of Portugal barely weeks after they were knocked out of the World.

Ronaldo who has made 180 appearances for his country made an announcement that he would keep on playing for the 2016 Nations League winners.

Portugal will begin their Euro 2024 qualifiers on June 17 against Bosnia & Herzegovina then play Iceland three days later and Ronaldo has been named in Martinez’s squad.

What Martinez said

Speaking in an interview with news outlet talkSPORT, the Spanish gaffer said he wanted the kind of leadership in Ronaldo’s dressing room.

“The initial point was, how do you make those decisions? At that point, I understand there are a lot of feelings at a World Cup with a national team.

“I was appointed on January 9th and had six weeks with the starting point of meeting every player who was in that list of 26 players in Qatar.

“For Cristiano, he wasn’t ready to step away, and then you can make a football decision. 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, who needs to be used in your dressing room.”