Former Belgium manager Roberto Martínez has reached a verbal agreement to take over as Portugal’s new coach, according to reports.

The Spaniard will succeed Fernando Santos, who departed after eight years in charge of the Seleção after the Qatar World Cup. 

Speculation suggested the Portuguese Football Federation (FPF) had earmarked José Mourinho as their top target to take over, but Mourinho himself gave no indication he was willing to leave his current position at Roma mid-contract.

Current Portugal U21 boss Rui Jorge was also thought to be well-placed. The choice of Martínez will surprise many.

Athletic journalist David Ornstein today reports that the appointment of Martínez: “is on course to be finalised by the end of next week.”

Born in Balaguer in north-eastern Spain, Martínez played most of his career as a defensive midfielder in England, and then spent a decade managing in the country, mostly in the English Premier League for Swansea City, Wigan Athletic and Everton, before taking over as Belgium’s head coach in 2016.

His managerial highlights include leading Swansea City to promotion to the Championship (England’s second tier), winning the FA Cup with Wigan and guiding Belgium to third place at the FIFA 2018 World Cup.

The initial reaction to his impending appointment in Portugal has been lukewarm, to say the least.

The FPF will point to the fact that the hiring of Santos was not well received to begin with, before the Engenheiro went on to lead Portugal to European Championship glory in 2016 and the Nations League title in 2019.

by Tom Kundert

Related: Fernando Santos relieved of his duties as Portugal coach

 

Comments (71)

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Really???? This guy? I get he helped get Belgium to third at the world cup in 2018... But how much of that was really him, and how much of it was the golden generation? Did Belgium really do anything that notable after that under him? This is a...

Really???? This guy? I get he helped get Belgium to third at the world cup in 2018... But how much of that was really him, and how much of it was the golden generation? Did Belgium really do anything that notable after that under him? This is a weird one. I would have gone with Rui Jorge, the man is extremely familiar with the way we play, and knows the young players. I'll be happy to be proven wrong, but I don't know what about Martinez made the FPF go for him.

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Hugo
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Say it isn't so!!!!

Never liked him in premier league and never liked Belgium...they had horseshoe against us as we dominated them under Santos no less and finishing 3rd with the team they had in 2018 was probably the basic goal and this...

Say it isn't so!!!!

Never liked him in premier league and never liked Belgium...they had horseshoe against us as we dominated them under Santos no less and finishing 3rd with the team they had in 2018 was probably the basic goal and this tournament they stunk.

If we are going foreign, you should have approached Luis Enrique or Zidane, far more pedigree and better footballing teams.

BUT...

THE FPF couldn't convince one of our top coaches to come....shocking given the team at their disposal.

If Abel manages Brazil I will lose my mind because that means he would have chose us for sure.

This to me seems like a sideways appointment....I don't see Martinez while playing different type of football and formations much or if any step up.

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Joe
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Embarrassingly pathetic hire by an increasingly pathetic FPF. This coach is a loser, he has never won anything of significance as a manager. He is not even Portuguese. When going outside Portugal, the candidate must be extraordinary. Martinez is...

Embarrassingly pathetic hire by an increasingly pathetic FPF. This coach is a loser, he has never won anything of significance as a manager. He is not even Portuguese. When going outside Portugal, the candidate must be extraordinary. Martinez is a failure who just got ran out of Belgium after totally mismanaging their “golden generation”. He also just failed the same Morocco test. I’d rather keep santos than hire this scrub. I foresee plenty of dark times ahead if this hire stands.

PATHETIC HIRE

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Chris
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With Ronaldo and Pepe gone, this is probably the start of the dark ages for Portugal

John
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Maybe the opposite in regards to those two, Cristiano especially has been standing in the way of younger options which seem to help the team play better while seriously declining since Euro 2020 and Pepe has at least been less reliably available...

Maybe the opposite in regards to those two, Cristiano especially has been standing in the way of younger options which seem to help the team play better while seriously declining since Euro 2020 and Pepe has at least been less reliably available due to various injuries.

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Francis Vieira
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I'm skeptical & not confident. He's not Portuguese either. If he knows how play with the 3 at the back, that might help maximize our forward & midfield assets, though our defense has to be seriously questioned! Was he really the best option...

I'm skeptical & not confident. He's not Portuguese either. If he knows how play with the 3 at the back, that might help maximize our forward & midfield assets, though our defense has to be seriously questioned! Was he really the best option available????

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F.C.JCHarvard
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Yeah clearly there's better than him but why him hey he beat us at the euros lol but what a waste if he is the next coach clearly the federation have no clue what and who to bring so much for nothing

Ricky Almeida
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Somehow… weird

Rolf Gerber
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What a joke! Lol. The FPF is going to make us regret letting Santos go. Bring back Santos! Now!! I'll settle for mediocrity than possibly not qualifying against the likes of Luxemburg. Mark my words, we will not qualify for the Euros with this...

What a joke! Lol. The FPF is going to make us regret letting Santos go. Bring back Santos! Now!! I'll settle for mediocrity than possibly not qualifying against the likes of Luxemburg. Mark my words, we will not qualify for the Euros with this dude in charge!

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Dan DaSilva
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I like it personally. He can get the team to play a highly offensive form of football which is to their strengths. I'm also more confident now because the pack of overly negative bricklayers are already in full force crying end of the world.

Robbie Pereira
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So Portugal will go back to losing ‘with grace’? Because that’s the attacking style we used to have before Fernando Santos

John
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I'm not much of a fan of Roberto but he's much better than Scolari, who wasted a team that had Porto players that just won the Champions League, Luis Figo & Rui Costa in their primes, young Cristiano Ronaldo, left prime Quaresma at home and UEFA...

I'm not much of a fan of Roberto but he's much better than Scolari, who wasted a team that had Porto players that just won the Champions League, Luis Figo & Rui Costa in their primes, young Cristiano Ronaldo, left prime Quaresma at home and UEFA keeper of the year, Vitor Baia at home, to lose to Greece TWICE in our home country.

Carlos Queiroz was the most defensive coach we've ever had. It wasn't pretty but it almost worked had it not been for David Villa's offside goal and Spain were eventually Champions.

And as average as Bento was, I can't blame him too much when the "glittering" talent at his disposal included starters like Miguel Veloso, Raul Meireles and Hugo Almeida. He went for consistency and may have actually over achieved.

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Adam
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I feel like I have to defend Scolari here. Sure we lost to Greece twice, but we also made the final of that tournament, the first final we had ever made. He also got us to the final four of the world cup in 2006. Sure you can criticize him for...

I feel like I have to defend Scolari here. Sure we lost to Greece twice, but we also made the final of that tournament, the first final we had ever made. He also got us to the final four of the world cup in 2006. Sure you can criticize him for leaving Baia at home, but until 2016 he was the most successful coach we ever had. He certainly did more in his time with us than Roberto did with Belgium.

I agree about Bento, but I have to disagree about Queiroz, I think he had no idea what to do with that team. We struggled in qualifying under him, and he wasted Ronaldo. And he got himself sacked for a dubious reason.

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Hugo
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The minute I heard this , I was pleased and I anticipated the instant backlash from the fans of this site. Check his record and his style of play before commenting(being able to play with 3 in the back is also huge)Then think to yourself how...

The minute I heard this , I was pleased and I anticipated the instant backlash from the fans of this site. Check his record and his style of play before commenting(being able to play with 3 in the back is also huge)Then think to yourself how would Portugal have done in the World Cup with him as manager and how would Belgium have done with Fernando Santos.

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Gee Dee
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I’m just worried about the quality of CBs Portugal has in the pipeline. Antonio Silva and Gonçalo Ignacio are still raw prospects.

I want the Danilo CB experiment to be over. Keep him as a CDM and that’s it. William has evolved from a typical 6...

I’m just worried about the quality of CBs Portugal has in the pipeline. Antonio Silva and Gonçalo Ignacio are still raw prospects.

I want the Danilo CB experiment to be over. Keep him as a CDM and that’s it. William has evolved from a typical 6 to a more mobile Renato Sanches

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John
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Fernando Santos pervious manager record before Portugal was unremarkable but he did up winning us the Euro 2016 with a squad that wasn't meant to win it.

Roberto Martinez has won two trophies, League 2 (England) and a FA CUP in 16 years, very...

Fernando Santos pervious manager record before Portugal was unremarkable but he did up winning us the Euro 2016 with a squad that wasn't meant to win it.

Roberto Martinez has won two trophies, League 2 (England) and a FA CUP in 16 years, very unremarkable indeed, perhaps he can get a fluke win with Portugal like Fernando Santos did, can't say I'm overly excited for Portugal in the future...

I guess with teams like Swansea City, Wigan Athletic and Everton you can't ask for much. I guess he did win the FA CUP with Wigan against Manchester City but still, thats with a underdog team just like how Portugal won the 2016, Portugal was the underdogs...

I think we need a manager who is used to being the man who expects his teams to win trophies rather than just compete in them. I just don't see Roberto Martinez being that guy.

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Joao
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Maybe he was the only manager willing to accept the job , who knows …. The others don’t want to deal with the Ronaldo headache .. on the bright side he does have a better national team winning % than santos

Joao Foguete
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