Ex-Belgium boss Roberto Martinez ‘agrees to replace Fernando Santos as Portugal manager after World Cup axe’ | The Sun
ROBERT MARTINEZ has reportedly agreed to become the new Portugal manager.
The former Wigan and Everton boss, 49, left his post as Belgium head coach following their shock group-stage exit at the World Cup in Qatar.
But now he is set to return to international football just weeks later as the successor to Fernando Santos.
According to The Athletic, he reached a verbal agreement to take charge of the Euro 2016 winners.
And the Spaniard is expected to finalise a deal by the end of next week.
Martinez is believe to have attracted interest from both club and international sides following his departure from Belgium.
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He led the Red Devils to the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup before they were beaten by champions France.
They were then also eliminated by the eventual winners at the Euros in 2021 as Italy defeated them.
But last year's World Cup was a terrible disappointment for Martinez and the Belgium squad as they exited in the group stage after managing just four points from games against Canada, Morocco and Croatia.
Martinez then left following the tournament as his contract had expired.
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He said: "It has been six years. I arrived with the clear idea of qualifying for the (2018) World Cup. Then we became so engaged with the project and won the bronze medal. I’m so proud of these players.
"It has been amazing. Six years where we’ve been able to do everything you want to do [and] the team has given people real joy. But this is the time for me to accept [it's over].
"I don’t resign. It’s the end of my contract. Since 2018 I had many opportunities to leave and take jobs at club level, but I wanted to stay loyal."
Portugal, ranked ninth in the Fifa rankings, were knocked out in the quarter-finals of the Qatar World Cup – going down to a Morocco side who also beat Martinez's Belgium.
It brought to an end Santos' eight-year spell in charge of the national team.
He led Cristiano Ronaldo and Co to glory at Euro 2016 as they beat hosts France 2-0 in the final.
They then exited both the 2018 World Cup and subsequent Euros in the last-16, before a last-eight defeat in the Middle East last month.
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