Why I didn’t drop Cristiano Ronaldo from Portugal squad – Martinez

Portugal head coach, Roberto Martinez has revealed why he did not sack Cristiano Ronaldo from the country’s national team despite a row with the immediate past coach.

The former Wigan boss became Portugal manager following his sack by Belgium after the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Martinez was picked as the replacement for Fernando Santos who was also dismissed following their defeat to Morocco in the knockout stage.

The manager told talkSPORT why he decided to keep Ronaldo, who had fallen out with his former manager, Santos, as Portugal captain.

Speaking on Wednesday, Martinez said: “The initial point was, how do you make those decisions? At that point, I understand there are a lot of feelings at a World Cup with a national team.

“I was appointed on January 9th and had six weeks with the starting point of meeting every player who was in that list of 26 players in Qatar.

“For Cristiano, he wasn’t ready to step away, and then you can make a football decision. He scored four goals; he was a real leader, a captain, and someone who brings an experience that no other player has in world football, who needs to be used in your dressing room.”