RON THE WAY ROBERTO MARTINEZ has revealed he will be holding talks with Cristiano Ronaldo over his international future.
The former Wigan and Everton boss was officially announced as Portugal’s new manager on Monday.
Ronaldo signed for Saudi Arabian side Al-Nassr after the World Cup
Roberto Martinez had been Belgian manager from 2016 but has now taken over Portugal
He arrives only weeks after leaving his post in charge of Belgium after their disastrous World Cup campaign.
Top of his agenda will be the future of Ronaldo after the 37-year-old’s whirlwind few months for club and country.
Shortly following his explosive Manchester United exit, Ronaldo found himself walking down the tunnel in tears after Portugal were eliminated by Morocco at the quarter-final stage in Qatar.
Speculation followed about his future with Portugal and Martinez told reporters at his first press conference that he will have crunch talks with the forward.
He said: “Football decisions have to be taken on the pitch. I’m not a coach that makes decisions in the boardroom.
“My starting point is to get in touch with all the players, the list of 26 from the World Cup, and Cristiano Ronaldo is on that list.
“He’s been with the national team for 19 years and he deserves the respect of being able to sit down and talk.
“From there [the goal] is to create in 10 weeks the best team for the qualification of the European championship. Today is a day of satisfaction. Tomorrow we will start working, getting to know all of the players and Cristiano is one of them
Ronaldo’s tournament had started brightly and he set a World Cup record by scoring against Ghana during the group stages.
But things quickly unravelled and he was left on the bench for both the defeat against Morocco but also Portugal’s stunning 6-1 win over Switzerland, which was by far their most convincing performance in Qatar.
The quarter-final exit saw Fernando Santos sacked, while Ronaldo issued a defiant statement after the tournament underlining his commitment to his country.
He said: “I just want everyone to know that much has been said, much has been written, much has been speculated, but my dedication to Portugal has not changed for an instant.
“I was always one more person fighting for everyone’s goal and I would never turn my back on my teammates and my country.
“For now, there’s not much more to say. Thank you, Portugal. Thank you, Qatar. The dream was beautiful while it lasted… Now, it’s time to be a good advisor and allow each one to draw their own conclusions.”
Portugal were not the only major side to face an underwhelming as Martinez’s Belgium exited at the group stage.
Reported dressing room rifts saw the Red Devils limp into the final group game against Croatia where a misfiring Romelu Lukaku missed multiple chances.
Martinez’s assistant manager Thierry Henry has been linked with the vacant Belgium post.