Roberto Martinez Reveals Cristiano Ronaldo's Role for Portugal

Roberto Martinez Reveals Cristiano Ronaldo's Role for Portugal

Isaac Darko
  • New Portugal manager Roberto Martinez has won his first two games
  • The 49-year-old still wants to count on the experience of Cristiano Ronaldo
  • Cristiano Ronaldo scored a brace in Portugal's win over Luxembourg

Roberto Martinez hailed the experience of Cristiano Ronaldo as the 38-year-old scored twice in Portugal's 6-0 thrashing of Luxembourg.

The 38-year-old opened the scoring for the Euro 2016 winners by turning in Nuno Mendes' header and slotted home another in the 31st minute as Portugal won 6-0.

Ronaldo, who also netted twice against Liechtenstein on Thursday, increased his records of most men's international appearances and goals to 198 and 122 respectively.

Roberto Martinez, Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal
Cristiano Ronaldo has scored four goals across Roberto Martinez's first two games as Portugal coach. Photo: Kenzo Tribouillard
Source: AFP
"Cristiano is a unique player in the world, with the highest number of international caps," said Martinez, who has restored Ronaldo to the starting line-up after he was dropped during the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

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"The experience he has for the dressing room is very important.
"All players have an important role. The younger ones due to their willingness to play and players like Cristiano Ronaldo, Rui Patricio and Bernardo Silva bring experience.
"It's important to have a complete dressing room."

Martinez joined Portugal after the World Cup, replacing Fernando Santos who had been in charge since 2014.

The Spaniard has enjoyed a fine start, with his team already two points clear at the top of Group J having scored 10 goals without reply.

Joao Felix, Bernardo Silva, Otavio and Rafael Leao were all also on the scoresheet in Luxembourg.

Ronaldo to get limited game time?

Sports Brief earlier reported that 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.

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.