Roberto Martinez hails Cristiano Ronaldo impact as a leader in Portugal’s ‘New Cycle’: “He wasn’t ready to step away”

Portugal national team manager Roberto Martinez has praised Cristiano Ronaldo for his influence as a leader in the team.

New manager Roberto Martinez was previously the manager of the Belgian national team. He was sacked there due to failing to win anything. Portugal then called Martinez to fill their own empty manager seat after sacking Fernando Santos. He has now managed them through their first games after the World Cup.

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.

World Cup 2022: Are Portugal better without Cristiano Ronaldo? It seems  they no longer need him | Marca

Martinez has had an excellent start to his new position, with Portugal winning 4-0 against Liechtenstein before crushing Luxembourg 6-0. Ronaldo struck twice in each game, including a stunning free-kick against Liechtenstein, bringing his international goal total to 122.

Roberto Martinez weighs in on decision to include CR7

The Spanish manager spoke to talkSport where he revealed why he included Cristiano Ronaldo in his squad. 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.”

He said that Cristiano was not about to call quits on his international career yet. 

“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.

Martinez also described his leadership qualities and the vast experience he brings to the team.

“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.”

Why Cristiano Ronaldo is vital in Martinez’s plan

There are many reasons why Martinez’s future plans require Cristiano Ronaldo.

First, Ronaldo is a great leader. He has been the captain there since 2008. This means he is a very important figure in the dressing room. With Ronaldo in the squad, Martinez will have an easier time managing the team. There is currently no other leader of Ronaldo’s stature in the team.

Cristiano Ronaldo is also Portugal’s greatest player ever. He has the most international appearances(198) and the most international goals (122) as well. The stats do not lie that Ronaldo can still play an important role in his country.

How many goals has Cristiano Ronaldo scored for Portugal? A Selecao star's  full World Cup, European Championship and international friendly record |

In games like European qualifiers and games against low-ranked teams, Ronaldo can be a starter. The captain has a proven record of scoring almost always in these types of games.

But in big games, his age and speed could be an issue. In that case, he can be used as a super sub. In this way, he can make the most of his abilities without having to tire himself much. He has a proven record of changing the outcome of games with moments of magic, as seen a few days before.

Cristiano Ronaldo will no doubt be part of their next fixtures in June. Portugal will face Bosnia at home on June 17 and Iceland away on June 20.

Fazal Al Bashar

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Fazal is a passionate soccer aficionado, who when not discovering the latest soccer stories and rumors, indulges in playing FIFA all night. While he sucks at the sport, he knows the who and what in all things soccer-related.


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