Why I didn’t force 38-year-old Ronaldo into retirement – Martinez

Why I didn't force Ronaldo into retirement - Martinez

Cristiano Ronaldo’s desire to continue playing was the primary factor in Roberto Martinez’s decision to keep him on the national squad for Portugal, thesportsbay.com reports.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner clashed with former coach Fernando Santos during the 2022 World Cup, where the Selecao was eliminated in the quarterfinals.

Martinez, on the other hand, lost his job after Belgium was unable to go past the round of 16.

A few weeks after Portugal was eliminated from the World Cup, the former Everton manager was appointed coach of the national team.

Ronaldo, who has played 180 times for his nation, announced that he would continue to play for the 2016 Nations League champions.

Portugal will begin their Euro 2024 qualifiers on June 17 against Bosnia & Herzegovina then play Iceland three days later and Ronaldo has been named in Martinez’s squad.

Speaking in an interview with news outlet talkSPORT, the Spanish gaffer said he wanted the kind of leadership in Ronaldo’s dressing room.

“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.”

Roberto Martinez has had to face plenty of questions over whether Cristiano Ronaldo will remain as captain

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