New Portugal coach Martínez pledges to talk to Ronaldo

LISBON, Portugal (AP) — Portugal has hired former Belgium coach Roberto Martínez to lead its national team. The Spaniard replaces Fernando Santos. Santos quit in December after Portugal’s elimination against Morocco in the quarterfinals of the World Cup. Santos left amid the controversy of benching Cristiano Ronaldo in the knockout stage of the tournament in Qatar. Martínez has pledged to respect Ronaldo’s history with the national team and to talk to him in the near future. Martínez ended his six-year stint with Belgium after the team’s disappointing group-stage elimination at the World Cup when he again failed to lead the nation’s golden generation to a triumph.

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