Former Belgium coach Roberto Martinez has been named the new manager of Portugal, the country’s football federation (FPF) has confirmed.
The Spaniard stepped down as Belgium’s coach following his side’s disappointing World Cup group stage exit, saying he had made the decision to end his six-year tenure some time ago and would have left even if they had been crowned champions.
Um novo 𝗟𝗶́𝗱𝗲𝗿 ao serviço de Portugal 🇵🇹: bem-vindo, Mister Roberto Martínez! 🤝 #VesteABandeira
A new 𝗟𝗲𝗮𝗱𝗲𝗿 at 🇵🇹 service: welcome, Coach Roberto Martínez! 🤝 #WearTheFlag pic.twitter.com/TCDe3yzJr9
— Portugal (@selecaoportugal) January 9, 2023
It ended a long spell in charge of the side whom he took to number one in FIFA’s world rankings and third place at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
The 49-year-old is replacing former Portugal coach Fernando Santos, who also left his job after the team suffered a shock defeat by Morocco at the quarter-final stage in Qatar.
“I appreciate the enthusiasm and ambition with which he [Martinez] received the invitation,” FPF president Fernando Gomes told a news conference.
“This is an important moment for the national team.”