Roberto Martinez named new Portugal boss with 75 PER CENT of fans against appointment

 (AP)
(AP)

Portugal have confirmed the appointment of former Belgium boss Roberto Martinez as their new head coach, following Fernando Santos’ departure.

Santos was sacked after Portugal’s quarter-final defeat to Morocco at last month’s World Cup in Qatar, bringing to an end an eight-year reign that had delivered European Championship and Uefa Nations League success.

Former Chelsea and Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho was among those linked with the job, but on Monday, the Portuguese FA unveiled Martinez as Santos’ successor.

Martinez called time on a six-year stint in charge of the Belgian national side following their abject group stage exit in Qatar. Prior to that disappointment, Martinez had led the most talented crop of players in the country’s history to a third-place finish at the 2018 World Cup, as well as to the top of Fifa’s world rankings for the first time.

He failed, however, to deliver a first major trophy and a poll in Portuguese newspaper A Bola suggested the 49-year-old's arrival is not an immediately popular one, with 75 per cent of fans against the appointment.

New appointment: Roberto Martinez has succeeded Fernando Santos as Portugal head coach (AP)
New appointment: Roberto Martinez has succeeded Fernando Santos as Portugal head coach (AP)

The former Everton manager will inherit a hugely talented Portuguese squad that will be expected to be among the leading contenders at the next Euros in Germany in only 18 months’ time.

He will also be tasked with moving the team on from Cristiano Ronaldo. Though Ronaldo, who turns 38 next month, is yet to retire from international football, the forward’s Portugal days appear numbered even as he approaches an astonishing 200 caps for his country.

Ronaldo lost his place in Santos’ side at the back end of the World Cup and will surely struggle to regain it after joining Saudi Arabian club Al-Nassr.