The Spanish manager succeeds Fernando Santos, who was sacked after eight years in charge of the national team. Santos was relieved of his duties after a disappointing exit by his side in the World Cup last month.
Portugal were kicked out in the quarter-finals by Morocco, who beat them 1-0 to become the first African side to advance to the semi-final round of a World Cup.
However, Santos’s replacement, Martinez, had a World Cup to forget with Belgium, as he failed to take the Red Devils out of the group stage. During his six-year tenure with the side, the 49-year-old also had a crisis within the squad and was criticised for struggling to make the most of his talented group.
He now inherits a similar situation at Portugal, with the nation’s pool of players arguably at its peak currently. His immediate concern and goal will be what to do with Cristiano Ronaldo. The 37-year-old – who has 196 caps for his country and is the all-time leading goalscorer in men’s international football – had a fallout with former coach Santos after he was benched for the crucial game against Morocco, which Portugal lost.
At 37, his star is declining and he is not the player he once was. But he still commands a lot of respect and attention, and the way he is managed can make or mar Martinez’s reign.
Speaking in his first press conference after being officially announced as the Portugal boss, Martinez revealed that he wants to ‘create the best team’ possible moving forward.
“Decisions are made on the pitch,” he began.
“I don’t make decisions in the office. I hope to contact all the players.
He also name-dropped Ronaldo as a player he will speak to directly after being pressed on how he intends to manage the five-time Ballon d’Or winner.
“I hope we can sit down with him and create the best team. It’s a day of great satisfaction, but tomorrow we’ll get down to business.
“Cristiano Ronaldo is a player that makes the list. He has been in the national team for 19 years.
“I hope we can sit down with him and create the best team. It’s a day of great satisfaction, but tomorrow we’ll get down to business.”
“We’re going to start a footballing process to try to get to know all the players that could make it to the national team,” Martinez continued via Sportsmail.
“We’re going to give all the players an opportunity and respect all those who are already in the national team. Cristiano is one of them.
“I’m delighted to be able to have them by my side. It’s a process that we have to face naturally, with responsibility, and we’re going to make important decisions for the team.”