Roberto Martinez: New Portugal Boss Hints at Limited Play Time for Ronaldo Despite Brace Against Liechtenstein

Roberto Martinez: New Portugal Boss Hints at Limited Play Time for Ronaldo Despite Brace Against Liechtenstein

Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe
  • New Portugal manager Roberto Martinez began his reign on a winning note
  • He has hinted at ringing a lot of changes in the national team going forward
  • Nonetheless, the 49-year-old counts on the cooperation of talisman Cristiano Ronaldo in moulding a formidable team

Cristiano Ronaldo's game time for Portugal could drastically reduce, according to new manager Roberto Martinez.

The Al-Nassr forward inspired the one-time European champions to an emphatic 4-0 victory over minnows Liechtenstein to kick start Martinez's era as Portugal boss on a flying note.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal, Roberto Martinez, Portugal manager
Cristiano Ronaldo's game time could be gravely affected due to the emergence of Goncalo Ramos and Rafael Leao. Photo credit: @brfootball
Source: Twitter

Ronaldo bagged a brace, including a rasping freekick, before being replaced by Benfica striker Goncalo Ramos, who shone at the 2022 World Cup, per talkSPORT.

It was a dream start for Martinez, who aims to find the right mix of experience and youthful exuberance on his side.

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Blessed with a plethora of emerging stars and established names, the 49-year-old has the unenviable task of satisfying everyone, including talisman Cristiano Ronaldo.

Martinez's biggest conundrum will be addressing the elephant in the room, Cristiano Ronaldo, who is on the wrong side of age 30 and nearing the end of his career.

Addressing the issue of finding a balanced team of experience and youth, the former Belgium trainer suggested there will be a lot of changes in his side which could affect Ronaldo's playing time invariably.

"It's important to have fresh people. There will be changes," he said, as quoted by TimelineCR7.

While Martinez broods over team selection, Ronaldo continues to fulfill his end of the bargain on the pitch as he seeks to add another international crown to the Euros and UEFA Nations League titles he has with Portugal.

What's next for Ronaldo?

Currently, the most-capped men's player in international football, the ex-Real Madrid and Manchester United forward will look to stretch his record when Portugal faces Luxembourg on Sunday, March 26.

GOAT debate: Ex-Dutch boss picks Ronaldo

While Ronaldo's future with Portugal appears to be coming to an end, former Dutch manager Louis van Gaal has now delved into the eternal Cristiano Ronaldo vs Lionel Messi debate, Sports Brief reported.

The argument on who between the two football stars is the greatest of all time has often left many football lovers divided.

Speaking on the legendary duo, the former Netherlands coach heaped praises on the two iconic superstars as the best players of their era. Van Gaal, 71, then disclosed his preference for the Portuguese legend in the GOAT debate.