Real reason I didn’t sack Cristiano Ronaldo from Portugal squad – Martinez
Portugal manager Roberto Martinez has revealed why he did not force Cristiano Ronaldo out of the Portugal national team.
The former Wigan boss became Portugal manager after he was sacked by Belgium after the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Portugal also dismissed Fernando Santos following their defeat to Morocco in the knockout stage.
Martinez decided to keep Ronaldo, who had fallen out with his former manager, Santos, as Portugal captain.
Appearing on talkSPORT on Wednesday, the former Everton boss gave reasons for his decision to keep the 38-year-old.
The Spaniard said: “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.”