- Ronaldo adviser steps down
- Portugal begin life under Roberto Martinez
- New boss yet to announce his captain
WHAT HAPPENED? Portugal are set to begin a new era under Martinez but will be without the services of Regufe, who has a close relationship with Ronaldo. The agent has worked with the Portugal team for 20 years and also played a role in Ronaldo's move to Al-Nassr. The decision comes amid speculation over whether Ronaldo will retain the captain's armband for the national team. Ronaldo was dropped to the bench by former manager Fernando Santos for Portugal's last two games at World Cup 2022 and Martinez is yet to confirm who will wear the armband for his side. Veteran defender Pepe was listed as Portugal captain at the recent FIFA the Best awards, which Ronaldo did not attend.
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WHAT THEY SAID: "It was an honor and a privilege to have served my country as a member of the national team entourage for two decades. I've lived unforgettable moments and made lifelong friends," Regufe wrote on Instagram. "To watch closely the national team win the two major trophies it has won to date and witness Cristiano Ronaldo's consecration as the best player in the world. I thank the players, coaches and staff for everything we experience together. A new stage begins but the desire to see our national team win is always the same!"
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Ronaldo heads into Portugal's Euro 2024 qualifying campaign after scoring eight goals in seven matches so far for Al-Nassr. Martinez spoke about the 38-year-old superstar after naming him in his squad and insisted he remains a key player for the national team.
"Cristiano Ronaldo is a very committed player," he said. "He can bring experience and is a very important figure for the team. I don't look at age.”
IN THREE PHOTOS:
WHAT NEXT? Martinez's first game in charge is against Liechtenstein in Euro 2024 qualifying on Thursday. The team continue their campaign on Sunday away at Luxembourg.