Cristiano Ronaldo isn’t done with the Portugal national team yet, as new manager Roberto Martinez is set to call him up in his first squad.
According to The Athletic, Roberto Martinez has already spoken with Cristiano Ronaldo about calling him up for the upcoming games. Previously it was thought Ronaldo might retire from the national team. He was sidelined by the previous manager Fernando Santos in Portugal’s World Cup quarter-final game against Morocco.
They went on to lose that game 1-0 and Ronaldo even left the pitch in tears. Many believed it to be his final World Cup appearance or even his last game for the national team.
It seems Ronaldo is not about to hang up his boots for the national team anytime soon and remains fully committed to the national team. Fernando Santos, for his part, was sacked following his failure to lead Portugal to World Cup glory. The manager had brought Portugal and Ronaldo their first international trophy in the 2016 Euros. He then followed it up by winning the Nations League in 2019.
New manager Roberto Martinez was previously the manager of the Belgian national team. He had failed to win anything with Belgium’s Golden Generation. The Spanish coach stepped down from the role after Belgium failed to progress from the group stage in the last World Cup. Portugal then called Martinez to fill their empty manager seat. He will now manage them through their first games after the World Cup.
Will Cristiano Ronaldo start for the national team again?
While Ronaldo is expected to come back, he may not be a starter yet. Given how Benfica star Goncalo Ramos is in a good form right now, Ronaldo may be on the bench yet again. However, he could still be involved in some capacity given his status on the national team.
Manchester United parted ways with Cristiano Ronaldo after the Portuguese gave an explosive interview with Piers Morgan regarding the club’s management. After no interest from any top European clubs, he then joined Saudi Pro League side Al Nassr in January. He was offered a contract that made him the world’s best-paid player.
Cristiano had a dream start to life and scored eight goals, including two hat tricks in the Saudi Pro League. He even won the player of the Month award for February for his eight goals and two assists.
Portugal will now face Liechtenstein and Luxembourg in the following international break as part of the qualification round of the Euros 2024. Ronaldo himself will face Abha in the Saudi Pro League before returning to international football.