Cristiano Ronaldo EURO 2024

Roberto Martinez reveals key reason for calling up Cristiano Ronaldo for EURO 2024

Roberto Martinez has admitted that Portugal still needs Cristiano Ronaldo in the squad. The manager claimed that the stats at Al Nassr this season prove that the forward still has goals in him.

Speaking to the media after announcing the Portugal squad for EURO 2024, Martinez stated that scoring 42 goals in 41 matches was proof that Ronaldo was still a threat up front. He added that scoring the plan is always to take the best team to the tournament and said:

“As for Cristiano Ronaldo, I think it’s better to talk about statistics. A player who scores 42 goals in 41 games for his club shows continuity, a physical ability to always be fit and quality in front of goal that we really like and need. We don’t make choices based on where the players play. We want to create the best team and call the 26 players who make up the best team. We monitor the players’ individual performance and role that they have in the locker room. There are players who have secondary roles in important locker rooms and others who have important roles in less strong locker rooms. Since March 2023 until now, we have a lot of information.”

Cristiano Ronaldo has been in stunning form for Al Nassr this season, but has not managed to get them to the top of the Saudi Pro League table. The Portuguese star’s team is 2nd once again and lost the title to Al Hilal.

Cristiano Ronaldo remains key to Portugal’s plans

Cristiano Ronaldo was dropped from the starting XI at the FIFA World Cup during the knockout stages. Fernando Santos made the bold decision as he believed it was right for the team.

However, the EURO 2016 champions were knocked out in the quarterfinals by Morocco and that was the end of Santos at the helm as well. Martinez was asked if he planned to call Ronaldo soon after his appointment and said:

“For Cristiano, he wasn’t ready to step away. He was ready and wanted to be a part of the new cycle, and at that point, it was very easy to include him into the March camp, and then you can make a football decision.”

He added:

“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. He’s someone who can reach 200 caps for your country and someone who needs to be used in your dressing room.”

Cristiano Ronaldo has played 206 matches for the national team so far. He has notched 128 goals and is aiming to play at the 2026 FIFA World Cup as well.

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