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Martinez 'delighted' to be Portugal's new coach, will speak with Ronaldo

Horacio Villalobos / Corbis News / Getty

Roberto Martinez said that he intends to speak with every player on Portugal's 2022 World Cup squad, including Cristiano Ronaldo, as part of his first order of business after being named the country's new head coach.

"I am delighted to be able to represent one of the most talented teams in the world," the former Belgium head coach said, according to The Guardian and Reuters. "I understand there are great expectations … but I also understand there is a very large team (at the federation) … and together we will achieve our goals."

When quizzed about the future of Ronaldo, 37, Martinez said: "I want to contact all 26 players who were at the last World Cup … Cristiano is a player on that list." Martinez added that he plans to "sit down and talk" with the country's all-time leading scorer.

Ronaldo's future in the national team has been uncertain since he was left out of Portugal's starting team for the country's last two World Cup games. Portugal was eliminated in the quarterfinals in what was likely the final World Cup appearance for Ronaldo, who joined Al Nassr last month after his Manchester United contract was terminated.

Martinez was previously in charge of Belgium for six years. He departed after the top-ranked Red Devils failed to qualify for the knockout stages at the 2022 World Cup.

The 49-year-old replaces Fernando Santos, who left Portugal after the country's shock loss to Morocco in Qatar.

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