Spain's Roberto Martinez, the new coach of the Portuguese national team, arrived in Saudi Arabia to meet the star Cristiano Ronaldo, who recently joined Al-Nasr club.
Martinez plans to meet with the "Don" in order to discuss the future plans of the Portugal national team, which bid farewell to the 2022 World Cup competitions in Qatar, in the quarter-finals, after losing to Morocco with a single goal scored by Youssef Al-Nusairi.
A lot of controversy arose about Ronaldo's future with his country after his lackluster appearance during the Qatar World Cup, and the subsequent sitting on the bench by former coach Fernando Santos.
New Portugal NT coach Roberto Martinez:
"Ronaldo? I want to contact and speak with the 26 players of the 2022 World Cup. He deserves to be spoken to and that we respect him."
— The CR7 Timeline.
(@TimelineCR7) January 9, 2023
And the Spanish newspaper "Marca" indicated that Martinez respects the history of players and stars, regardless of the minutes they play with their teams, or even the form they appear in.
The newspaper indicated that it had spoken by summoning Martinez, when he was coach of Belgium, to Real Madrid star Eden Hazard, to the national team every time the player was available, despite his being confined to the "Merengue" bench in the past few years.
Accordingly, Cristiano Ronaldo will find a place for him in Martinez' squad on upcoming occasions, and his match against Morocco at the World Cup in Qatar will not be his last, according to Marca.
And Martinez confirmed during his introduction as coach of the Portugal national team that he would rely on all the players who participated in the World Cup in Qatar, led by Ronaldo.
"My work is to give a chance to all players and Cristiano Ronaldo is one of them."
Sounds like Cristiano Ronaldo is part of Roberto Martinez's Portugal plans 👀 pic.twitter.com/jd3mpPUx05
— ESPN UK (@ESPNUK) January 10, 2023
The "Madeira Rocket" is on the top of the world's top scorers for national teams, with 118 goals, and is 20 goals ahead of its Argentine rival, Lionel Messi, who scored 98 goals with "Tango".
The newspaper stressed the importance of Ronaldo's presence with the national team, even if he was on the bench, and mentioned his leadership role in Portugal's final match against France in the European Cup "Euro 2016".
Meanwhile, Martinez invested his presence in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in order to follow the matches of the Spanish Super Cup, which are being held at the King Fahd International Stadium in the capital, Riyadh.
And “Marca” explains that Martinez’s trip to Saudi Arabia has more goals than just meeting Ronaldo, as he benefited from the establishment of the Super Cup, in order to talk to the Portuguese international players, in the ranks of Valencia and Real Betis.
Martinez admitted that he knew closely all the elements who were on the final list for the 2022 World Cup, consisting of 26 players.
And the official account of the Valencia club published pictures of Martinez talking to the Italian Gennaro Gattuso, the coach of the team, and he also met the players Terry Coriba and Andre Almeida.
We have visited Riad Roberto Martínez, seleccionador of @selecaoportugal 🇵🇹
Ha sido recibido por Gattuso y ha charlado con @ThierryRendall y @andremms7 🤝#CORVCF #ADNVCF pic.twitter.com/KgkHOwzUP7
- Valencia CF (@valenciacf) January 11, 2023
And “Marca” confirmed that Martinez visited the Real Betis camp, and also had a short conversation with the Portuguese duo, Rui Silva and William Carvalho, to find out their future plans.
It is noteworthy that Valencia lost to Real Madrid on penalties in the first semi-final of the Super Cup at King Fahd Stadium, while Real Betis will play this evening against Barcelona in the second semi-final at the same stadium.