Portugal have confirmed the appointment of Roberto Martinez as their new national team coach, replacing the recently departed Fernando Santos.
The Euro 2016 winners parted ways with Santos at the conclusion of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, bringing to an end an eight-year reign that also saw Portugal crowned the inaugural winners of the Nations League.
Martinez only recently left his role as Belgium manager following a disastrous World Cup campaign that saw them crash out of the group stages.
But despite that early exit, Martinez’s work with the Red Devils’ ‘Golden Generation’ over the past six years has been enough to convince Portugal that he is the right manager to lead them forward – and the former Everton, Wigan and Swansea boss was understandably delighted at his unveiling.
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“I’m very happy to be here, I’m delighted to be able to represent one of the most talented teams in the world. the project I wanted,” Martinez told the press. “I understand that there are high expectations and goals, but I also understand that there is a large group of people working to fulfil our goals.
“The important thing is that we are a very competitive team. When I think about my international career, in six and a half years we were undefeated in 28 games for major tournaments. It is a way of making the team competitive.
“Portugal must always have the will to win everything and for that you need to be a modern team, with tactical flexibility. Playing with a line of three or four defenders depends on the players, and it will be my job and that of the coaching staff to get the most out of each player. Tactical flexibility is very important.
“If we are going to play in transitions, we have to be well structured off the ball and show off our talent on the ball. We have to control games. That tactical flexibility will depend on the players.”
Martinez inherits a squad of full to the brim of attacking talent – Joao Felix, Rafael Leao, Bruno Fernandes, Goncalo Ramos and Bernardo Silva to name just five – while he also still has the highest goalscorer in men’s international football at his disposal – a certain Cristiano Ronaldo.