Is Cristiano Ronaldo still Portugal captain? Roberto Martinez outlines leadership plan for road to Euro 2024
- Veteran forward still in squad
- Was benched at 2022 World Cup
- New coach now calling the shots
WHAT HAPPENED? The Portuguese have made a change in their dugout following a disappointing quarter-final defeat to Morocco at the 2022 World Cup, with Euro 2016-winning coach Fernando Santos bringing his eight-year reign to a close. Ex-Belgium boss Martinez is now calling the shots, with what to do with Ronaldo being one of the biggest challenges he faces.
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WHAT THEY SAID: While Ronaldo was benched at times in Qatar, and is now plying his trade at club level for Al-Nassr in Saudi Arabia, Martinez says the five-time Ballon d’Or winner will be a leader in his squad. The Spaniard has said: “At the moment, the players with more experience and international caps are the captains: Ronaldo, Rui Patricio and Bernardo Silva. They will be the team captains.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Ronaldo has earned 196 caps for Portugal, scoring a record-breaking 118 goals along the way, and is looking to play on towards another major tournament – with Euro 2024 qualification set to be opened with a home date against Liechtenstein on Thursday.
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WHAT NEXT? Ronaldo made his debut for Portugal back in 2003, meaning that he has now reached the 20-year mark as a senior international star, and has been among the goals at club level since heading to the Middle East following his release by Manchester United.