Roberto Martinez falls on his feet once again as ex-Everton boss takes over as Portugal head coach

Portugal appoint Martinez Credit: Alamy
Portugal appoint Martinez Credit: Alamy

Portugal have announced that they have appointed former Belgium and Everton boss Roberto Martinez as new national team manager.

The Spaniard replaces Fernando Santos, who left the role after eight years in charge after the World Cup.

Martinez previously managed in the Premier League at Everton and Wigan Athletic.

He was available as he left after his period with Belgium ended after the European nation exited the World Cup in the group stages.

Shortly after their elimination, he said: “I’ve been six years with the national team. I arrived with a clear job of qualifying for the World Cup and you get so engaged with the project and the people behind the players.

“And then we finished with a bronze medal (at Russia 2018) and it felt that we had to give it another go and it’s been a real joy.

“We’ve been able to build a real legacy, and I know a lot of people say you can only build a legacy by winning a major tournament, but I see it in a different way. I’m so proud of these players.”

A tweet from the Portuguese Football Federation read: “A new leader at the service of Portugal – welcome Mr Roberto Martinez.”

Martinez, an FA Cup winner with Wigan in 2013, spent six years with Belgium, leading them to the top of the world rankings, third place at the 2018 World Cup and the quarter-finals of Euro 2020.

However, they under-performed in Qatar and exited at the group stage after winning just one of their three matches.

He inherits a Portugal side that reached the quarter-finals but suffered a shock loss to Morocco after a campaign overshadowed by issues concerning veteran star player Cristiano Ronaldo.

Speaking at a press conference, Martinez said: “I am very excited to be here. I am very happy to represent one of the national teams with the best talent in the world.

“From the first time I spoke with the president of the federation I knew this was a sporting project that would excite me.

“I understand there are great expectations and big objectives, but there is a great team of people at the federation and I have great excitement that together we can achieve those objectives.”

READ MORE: What does Kai Havertz actually do? And how is Roberto Martinez still bossing Belgium?

 

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