Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice as Portugal eased to a 6-0 win away at Luxembourg in Euro 2024 qualifying.

Ronaldo got the ball rolling early on with a tap-in, before further goals from Joao Felix and Bernardo Silva made it 3-0 inside 18 minutes, while Ronaldo added another just after the half-hour mark.

Second-half goals from substitutes Otavio and Rafael Leao completed another routine victory for Portugal after their 4-0 win over Liechtenstein to kick off their qualifying campaign and the rein of new head coach Roberto Martinez.

They sit top of Group J after two games, two points ahead of Slovakia in second after their win against Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Portugal took the lead in the ninth minute when a ball to the far post from Bruno Fernandes was headed back across goal by Nuno Mendes, giving Ronaldo a simple tap-in from close range.

The advantage was doubled just six minutes later, as this time Silva's inswinging ball from the right was nodded across Luxembourg goalkeeper Anthony Moris and into the corner of the net by Joao Felix.

Silva got on the end of a long pass from Joao Palhinha to head in the third, while Ronaldo grabbed his second and Portugal's fourth in the 31st minute when Fernandes played him through on goal, with the Al Nassr striker placing his left-foot shot low to Moris' right.

Portugal had another in the 77th minute when Leao and Otavio combined, with the latter heading home the Milan attacker's cross from the left.

Leao saw a late penalty saved by Moris after winning it himself, but made up for it shortly after when his run inside from the left ended with a composed finish.

Roberto Martinez believes Cristiano Ronaldo's experience and commitment is crucial to Portugal's new cycle.

Ronaldo became the most-capped men's player of all time when he took to the field in Lisbon on Thursday for his 197th Portugal appearance.

The 38-year-old marked the occasion with two goals, scoring from the penalty spot before lashing in a free-kick to complete a 4-0 rout over Liechtenstein in Euro 2024 qualifying Group J.

Joao Cancelo put Portugal ahead early on and Bernardo Silva netted shortly after half-time, with Martinez's tenure getting off to the simplest of starts.

Ronaldo was dropped to the bench by previous coach Fernando Santos for Portugal's World Cup knock-out games, but Martinez wanted to get the five-time Ballon d'Or winner into his starting XI.

"It's a new cycle," Martinez told Portuguese media outlets.

"It's important for a player to show commitment and [to know] that we can use his experience, and Cristiano shows that."

Posting on social media, Ronaldo expressed his pride at sending yet another record tumbling.

"Such good feelings to play and score again for our national team, in a special stadium for me," Ronaldo wrote. "Proud to be the [most-capped] international player ever."

Reflecting on his team's dominant display, in which Portugal had 35 attempts and accumulated an expected goals (xG) of 3.9 to Liechtenstein's 0.03, Martinez said: "We have to enjoy situations like this.

"I realised that when you play for Portugal it's special. The players follow that line, it was a step forward to prepare for the next game.

"Of course it's an opportunity for me to get to know the players, the interaction, see how to take better advantage of the qualities. But I'm left with the attitude and willingness to work. I'm very proud of the result."

Portugal continue their qualification campaign against Luxembourg on Sunday.

Joao Cancelo was shocked to hear Bayern Munich have reportedly sacked Julian Nagelsmann but asked his potential new coach Thomas Tuchel to help him win the Champions League.

Reports emerged on Thursday suggesting Bayern had elected to dismiss Nagelsmann and replace the 35-year-old with former Chelsea, Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain coach Tuchel.

Bayern are into the quarter-finals of the Champions League – they will face Cancelo's parent club Manchester City for a place in the last four – and sit second in the Bundesliga, trailing Dortmund, who they play on April 1, by one point.

Cancelo started the scoring in Portugal's 4-0 rout of Liechtenstein in Euro 2024 qualifying on Thursday, and was subsequently made aware of the Nagelsmann rumours at full-time.

"I didn't know. I was a little surprised," Cancelo told reporters. "I want to thank coach Nagelsmann, he was the one who wanted me at Bayern.

"It's caught me off guard, but all the luck in the world to him."

On Tuchel's possible arrival, Cancelo added: "When he arrives, I will try to adapt the concepts of the new coach as much as possible and I hope it goes well, because we have many important games.

"The decisive phase of the season is about to be entered and Bayern is a team that, individually and collectively, is always ready to win it all."

Speaking to Sky Sport, Cancelo suggested Tuchel owes him after the German's Chelsea side defeated City in the 2020-21 Champions League final.

"He made me lose a Champions League final, so I hope he lets me win this year," Cancelo quipped.

Cristiano Ronaldo celebrated becoming the most-capped men's player of all time with a double as Portugal thrashed Liechtenstein 4-0 in Roberto Martinez's first game.

Ronaldo scored just once at last year's World Cup, and there had been doubts over whether he would return for Portugal's Euro 2024 qualification campaign.

But having been named as captain in Martinez's starting XI for Thursday's match at Estadio Jose Alvalade, Ronaldo scored twice in the space of 12 minutes – a cool penalty followed by a wicked free-kick – to help cap an emphatic win and mark his record appearance in style.

Ronaldo's goals followed strikes from Joao Cancelo and Bernardo Silva as Portugal got off to the simplest of starts in Group J.

Liechtenstein's resistance lasted just eight minutes. The visitors failed to clear their lines following Bruno Fernandes' corner, and Cancelo's deflected strike from the edge of the area squirmed under Benjamin Buchel.

Ronaldo squandered two golden opportunities to extend Portugal's lead, firing over when one-on-one with Buchel before sending a free header wide.

Portugal's wait for a second ended 68 seconds after the restart, Silva on hand to tuck home after a cross was blocked into his path, and Ronaldo had his goal four minutes later.

Jens Hofer clumsily felled Cancelo, with Ronaldo drilling the resultant penalty into the bottom-left corner.

The offside flag cut Ronaldo's celebrations short when he prodded in from close range, but a superb 63rd-minute free-kick had too much power on it for Buchel.

There was no hat-trick for Ronaldo, who made way in the 78th minute, with the job done for new boss Martinez.

Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo has become the most-capped men's international footballer of all time.

The Al Nassr forward won his 197th cap in Thursday's opening Euro 2024 qualifier against Liechtenstein, moving him one clear of Kuwait forward Bader Al-Mutawa.

Malaysia's Soh Chin Ann (195 caps) is third on the list, with Ahmed Hassan (184) and Ahmed Mubarak (183) of Egypt and Oman respectively completing the top five.

Ronaldo had equalled Al-Mutawa's record when featuring for Portugal in their World Cup quarter-final defeat to Morocco in December.

Speaking ahead of the meeting with Liechtenstein at Estadio Jose Alvalade, Ronaldo revealed he contemplated retiring from international football after that defeat.

But he was named in new head coach Roberto Martinez's first squad and made more history when appearing against minnows Liechtenstein in Lisbon.

Ronaldo, who also holds the record for most men's international goals (118), earned his first cap in 2003 when replacing Luis Figo in a friendly against Kazakhstan.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner, who won Euro 2016 with Portugal, has played against Luxembourg (10 games) more times than any other nation, followed by Spain (nine).

Luxembourg are also the country Ronaldo has scored against the most, finding the net nine times, while he has scored seven times against Lithuania and Sweden.

He has played 47 times for Portugal at major tournaments – 25 times at the European Championships and 22 at the World Cup – and is hopeful of featuring at Euro 2024.

"My biggest wish is to be able to take Portugal as high as possible," Ronaldo said on Wednesday. "I will always play my part when needed.

"Earning records is always a positive thing and it motivated me. I like to break records and will now break another special one. It makes me very proud.

"But beyond [Thursday] I still have plenty of games left. Let's see if the coach still wants to count on me to be available."

Cristiano Ronaldo is confident the Saudi Pro League can become one of the world's best competitions in the years to come.

The Portugal captain joined Saudi Arabia's Al Nassr in the aftermath of the 2022 World Cup, with his second spell with Manchester United brought an abrupt end prior to the tournament in Qatar.

A free agent after the Selecao's quarter-final exit at the hands of Morocco, Ronaldo promptly moved to the Middle East and has quickly settled, scoring nine goals in eight Pro League appearances.

While widely considered a weaker league than those in Europe, Ronaldo believes those matches have prepared him for Portugal duty and expects the reputation of the Saudi top flight to improve in time.

"I feel really good," he said ahead of Portugal's Euro 2024 qualifier against Liechtenstein. "That's why I'm here. If I didn't think so, I wouldn't be.

"I'm in a very competitive league. They should look at the Saudi championship differently.

"Obviously, it's not like the Premier League, I'd be lying if I said it was, but it's competitive. I'm surprised by the strength. It has good teams, it is balanced, the Arab players are good, the foreigners give quality.

"Possibly it will be, in five to six years' time, if they continue this plan, the fourth or fifth most competitive league in the world."

Ronaldo's return to United had not ended well as he fell out with Erik ten Hag and fired shots at the club in a no-holds-barred interview while still contracted at Old Trafford.

"Sometimes you have to go through a few things to see who's on my side," he said on Wednesday. "At a difficult stage, you see who is on your side.

"I have no problem saying I've had a bad time in my career, but there's no time for regrets.

"Life goes on and, doing well or not, it was part of my growth. When we're at the top of the mountain, we often can't see what's down.

"Now I am more prepared and this learning was important, because I had never been through this as in the last few months. Now I'm a better man."

Cristiano Ronaldo has revealed he considered international retirement following the World Cup in Qatar.

Portugal crashed out at the quarter-final stage after defeat against Morocco, with Ronaldo losing his spot in the starting line-up for the knockout stages.

Fernando Santos dropped Ronaldo to the bench for the last-16 tie against Switzerland, with his replacement Goncalo Guedes scoring a hat-trick in a dominant 6-1 victory.

Ronaldo would continue as a substitute for the clash with Morocco, which almost spelled the end of his Portugal career.

"I'm not going to lie. In our life, we have to put everything on the scale," Ronaldo said ahead of a Euro 2024 qualifier against Liechtenstein.

"We thought, we reflected, me and my family, but then we came to the conclusion that, despite the difficulties, we cannot throw in the towel. I was able to see situations at different angles. I learned a lot from that.

"I'm glad to be back. Roberto Martinez showed that he counted on me. I've always wanted to play. As you know, he talked to everyone and to me, too. And I was able to realise that I have a lot to give to the national team.

"I feel it, I want it, and my desire is to take Portugal to the highest level. I will always give my contribution when they need me."

Cristiano Ronaldo has been named in the first Portugal squad announced by new head coach Roberto Martinez.

The former Belgium boss replaced Fernando Santos, who called time on his eight-year stint at the helm following Portugal's quarter-final elimination at the 2022 World Cup at the hands of Morocco.

Santos benched Ronaldo for both knockout games in Qatar – a comprehensive 6-1 win over Switzerland and the 1-0 loss to the Atlas Lions.

Ahead of the qualifying campaign for Euro 2024, Martinez has opted for continuity with just two of the players selected for games against Liechtenstein and Luxembourg not featuring at the World Cup.

Ronaldo joined Saudi Pro League side Al Nassr in December after having his contract at Manchester United terminated, scoring eight goals in seven games so far, and Martinez believes the 38-year-old can still be an important figure for his country.

"Cristiano Ronaldo is a player who is very committed to the national team," the Spaniard said. "A player like Cristiano brings experience, he is an important figure in the team. I don't look at age or other aspects.

"I think Cristiano has an opportunity to help the team and transmit the experience of his career to the other players."

Portugal will compete in Group J of Euro 2024 qualifying along with Iceland, Slovakia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Liechtenstein and Luxembourg, and Martinez is optimistic about the Selecao's future.

"I want to build a team that shows the qualities of the players Portugal has," he said. "This is a starting point. I see quality, experience, youth, players that play at home and also abroad. I've seen a lot of commitment from all of them for the national team."

Portugal squad: Diogo Costa (Porto), Jose Sa (Wolves), Rui Patricio (Roma); Diogo Dalot (Manchester United), Joao Cancelo (Bayern Munich), Danilo Pereira, Nuno Mendes (both Paris Saint-Germain), Pepe (Porto), Ruben Dias (Manchester City), Antonio Silva (Benfica), Goncalo Inacio (Sporting CP), Diogo Leite (Union Berlin) Raphael Guerreiro (Borussia Dortmund); Joao Palhinha (Fulham), Ruben Neves, Matheus Nunes (both Wolves), Bernardo Silva (Manchester City), Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United), Joao Mario (Benfica), Otavio Monteiro (Porto), Vitinha (PSG); Cristiano Ronaldo (Al Nassr), Goncalo Ramos (Benfica), Joao Felix (Chelsea), Rafael Leao (Milan), Diogo Jota (Liverpool).

Cristiano Ronaldo has scored many famous goals.

Undoubtedly, though, one of his most celebrated strikes came 15 years ago, on January 30, 2008.

On a winter evening at Old Trafford, Harry Redknapp's Portsmouth rocked up in fine form on the road, having won seven of their 12 away games in the Premier League.

Yet Ronaldo, in the midst of a 31-goal season in the top tier, was the difference. 

Having put Manchester United ahead in the 10th minute, Ronaldo stepped up, just under 30 yards out from goal, three minutes later.

His free-kick, taken in what would become his trademark style, went up, over the wall and swerved remarkably into the right-hand corner. David James, the Portsmouth goalkeeper, had no chance.

That goal is often thought of as the typical Ronaldo free-kick. Power, panache and pinpoint accuracy.

But is Ronaldo actually as good as a free-kick taker as that goal might suggest? Using Opta data, Stats Perform has taken a look.

Quantity, not quality?

Since that goal against Portsmouth up until the day his second spell at United ended (November 23, 2022), Ronaldo had more shots from direct free-kicks than any other player in Europe's top five leagues.

Of the 645 shots Ronaldo had, 41 resulted in a goal. That is from 700 club games, across stints at United, Real Madrid and Juventus.

On the face of it, that goal tally does not stand out as particularly impressive, at least given the fact that Ronaldo netted 619 times in total.

Yet he is behind only Lionel Messi (who else?) when it comes to goals from direct free-kicks, with the Barcelona great scoring on 51 occasions from such situations.

That gives Messi an 8.1 per cent conversion rate from free-kicks in that timeframe, in contrast to Ronaldo's 6.3 per cent.

 

Naturally, given their status in the game, Ronaldo and Messi will almost always pull rank when it comes to set-pieces, especially at a free-kick in a dangerous position.

Miralem Pjanic, who ranks third for direct free-kick goals and was a club-mate of both players at Barca and Juve respectively, boasts better conversion rate than either (nine per cent).

Neymar's 13 goals from 147 attempts gives him an 8.8 per cent success rate, while James Ward-Prowse's 12 per cent (15 from 125, though this figure of course does not account for his strike against Everton earlier in January) is close to double what Ronaldo managed.

Indeed, when ranked against players from Europe's big five leagues that scored 10 or more direct free-kicks between January 31, 2008 and November 23, 2022, only Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Dani Parejo had lower conversion rates than Ronaldo.

Club by club

So, having established that Ronaldo's free-kick finishing was somewhat erratic following that stunner against Portsmouth, let's check on how he stacked up at each club.

Across his career in Europe's top five leagues, Ronaldo netted 48 free-kicks in all competitions, from 782 shots (6.1 per cent).

 

Thirteen of those goals came at United, with five each in his final two seasons of his first spell at the club.

Indeed, Ronaldo's peak when it came to free-kicks was definitely between the 2007-08 season and the 2013-14 campaign, when he scored 35 times from that type of dead-ball situation.

His best single season tally was six, in the 2009-10 season – his first at Madrid.

From 2014-15 onwards he did not manage more than three free-kick goals during a season, while he scored only twice from 86 such attempts while at Juve, and managed no goals from four free-kicks in his second stint at United.

One of the greats?

As well as his effort against Portsmouth, Ronaldo has many other memorable free-kicks in the bank.

His stunning, 40-yard strike against Arsenal in the 2009 Champions League semi-final; a mesmerising hit from even further out in a Madrid derby in 2012; and who can forget that spellbinding, hat-trick sealing effort that secured a last-gasp draw for Portugal against Spain in a 3-3 thriller at the 2018 World Cup.

Ronaldo might have gone off the boil from dead balls since the halcyon days either side of his move from Manchester to Madrid, yet there's no doubting that when he hits them true, there's not much any goalkeeper can do.

While he may not go down as one of the greatest free-kick takers in history statistically, he has definitely been a scorer of some great free-kicks down the years.

And who knows, maybe there'll be more to come in Saudi Arabia.

Fernando Santos has been appointed Poland head coach until 2026 following the end of his tenure with Portugal.

Santos, 68, was in charge of the Selecao for over eight years and guided them to success at Euro 2016 and the inaugural Nations League in 2019.

Despite those trophies, Portugal fans had become frustrated with the style of football Santos' team played in recent years, with there being a perception of him underachieving given the wealth of talent at his disposal.

Santos' Portugal contract was not due to expire until after Euro 2024, but he was removed from his role after the World Cup quarter-final defeat to Morocco last month.

Roberto Martinez has since replaced him.

Santos has not wasted much time in taking a new job either, however, with Poland his third international position in succession after also coaching Greece for four years prior to taking over Portugal.

He will be only Poland's third non-native head coach after Portuguese compatriot Paulo Sousa, who had a brief spell in charge in 2021, and Leo Beenhakker.

Polish Football Association (PZPN) president Cezary Kulesza had essentially confirmed the hiring on Monday when he posted a photo of himself with Santos, the caption announcing a press conference for the following day.

Santos' first goal will be to secure Poland's qualification for a fourth successive appearance at the European Championship, with the 2024 edition to take place in neighbouring Germany.

He will then be tasked with leading Poland to the 2026 World Cup in Canada, Mexico and the United States, after which his contract is due to end.

Jose Mourinho claims he was the "first choice" and "only option" to take over as Portugal head coach but rejected the job as he is committed to Roma.

Roberto Martinez was this week appointed as successor to Fernando Santos, whose tenure as Portugal boss came to an end after a shock World Cup quarter-final defeat to Morocco last month.

Spaniard Martinez took over not long after leaving his role as head coach of Belgium following their failure to advance from the group stage in Qatar.

Mourinho, who was tipped to return to his homeland and take charge of the national team before Martinez was appointed, revealed Portuguese Football Federation president Fernando Gomes made it clear he was the man he wanted to replace Santos.

The Roma boss has expressed his gratitude to Gomes, but says he did not want to turn his back on Serie A club Roma.

He said: "I would like first of all to thank the president of the federation. What Fernando Gomes told me made me very happy and made me proud.

"He said that I was not only the first choice as the new national coach, but also that I was his only option and that's why he would do anything to bring me back home.

"It was an honour, but in the end I decided not to accept. I'm here in Rome, that's what counts."

Mourinho, who has also been linked with the vacant Brazil job, signed a three-year deal when he was appointed as Roma head coach ahead of the 2021-22 season.

Chelsea have completed the loan signing of Joao Felix from Atletico Madrid.

The 23-year-old forward joins the Blues until the end of the season for a reported loan fee of €11million (£9.7m).

There has been no official disclosure from either Chelsea or Atleti over whether a purchase option has been included, though Joao Felix has extended his contract with the Spanish side until 2027.

Joao Felix had been strongly linked with a move to Premier League rivals Arsenal and Manchester United, but it is Chelsea who have made their move, looking to recover what has been a disappointing campaign at Stamford Bridge so far.

Graham Potter has struggled since replacing Thomas Tuchel as head coach in September, with Chelsea languishing in 10th place in the league as well as being eliminated from both the EFL Cup and FA Cup by Manchester City, losing 4-0 at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

Joao Felix becomes Chelsea's fourth addition of the January transfer window, following David Datro Fofana, Andrey Santos and Benoit Badiashile.

The Portugal international has struggled for consistency since his nine-figure move to Atletico from Benfica in 2019, though has managed five goals and three assists in 20 games (11 starts) this season for his club.

After reported disagreements with head coach Diego Simeone though, Joao Felix now has the chance to help rescue Chelsea's season in England.

"Chelsea is one of the great teams in the world and I hope to help the team reach their objectives, so I am very, very happy to be here and very excited to play at Stamford Bridge," said Joao Felix.

Chelsea have completed the loan signing of Joao Felix from Atletico Madrid.

The 23-year-old forward joins the Blues until the end of the season for a reported loan fee of €11million (£9.7m).

There has been no official disclosure from either Chelsea or Atleti whether a purchase option has been included, though Joao Felix has extended his contract with the Spanish side until 2027.

Joao Felix had been strongly linked with a move to Premier League rivals Arsenal and Manchester United, but it is Chelsea who have made their move, looking to recover what has been a disappointing campaign at Stamford Bridge so far.

Graham Potter has struggled since replacing Thomas Tuchel as head coach in September, with Chelsea languishing in 10th place in the league as well as being eliminated from both the EFL Cup and FA Cup by Manchester City, losing 4-0 at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

Joao Felix becomes Chelsea's fourth addition of the January transfer window, following David Datro Fofana, Andrey Santos and Benoit Badiashile.

The Portugal international has struggled for consistency since his nine-figure move to Atletico from Benfica in 2019, though has managed five goals and three assists in 20 games (11 starts) this season for his club.

After reported disagreements with head coach Diego Simeone though, Joao Felix now has the chance to help rescue Chelsea's season in England.

"Chelsea is one of the great teams in the world and I hope to help the team reach their objectives, so I am very, very happy to be here and very excited to play at Stamford Bridge," said Joao Felix.

When Fernando Santos called time on his eight-year stint as Portugal head coach after their 2022 World Cup quarter-final elimination, few would have correctly predicted his replacement.

Roberto Martinez also left his national team role after the tournament in Qatar, with Belgium disappointingly falling at the group stage.

The former Everton and Wigan Athletic boss took the Red Devils to the World Cup semi-finals in 2018, before reaching the last eight of Euro 2020, being eliminated by the eventual winners in both.

Martinez finds himself in charge of A Selecao now after his appointment was confirmed on Monday, and there is plenty of work to be done.

Qualifiers for the 2024 European Championships get underway in March and with the talent at their disposal, Portugal must be fancied to be among the favourites for the tournament in Germany.

Stats Perform has taken a look at five things in Martinez's in-tray that he will need to consider if he is to find success with his new team.

Solve the Ronaldo conundrum

"Decisions have to be made on the pitch. I won't rush into decisions. I want to meet everyone, and from today I want to talk and meet all the players," Martinez said at his first press conference as Portugal coach.

"Cristiano [Ronaldo] is part of that list. He's had 19 years in the national team and deserves respect, let's talk. From there, it's up to me to make the best list for the European Championships."

Ronaldo has 118 goals in 196 caps for Portugal, undeniably an international record to be proud of, but he will be 38 years old when Martinez takes charge of his first game.

One of the new boss' biggest issues with Belgium was getting the best out of ageing stars, and with Portugal arguably looking far sharper when Ronaldo was benched in Qatar – hat-trick hero v Switzerland Goncalo Ramos in particular – perhaps now is the perfect time to allow the former Real Madrid and Juventus man to fully focus on his new adventure in Saudi Arabia and call time on his international career.

Getting the best out of Joao Felix

This is a problem Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone is all too familiar with, hence why Joao Felix is being linked with a loan move to the likes of Manchester United and Arsenal instead of lighting up LaLiga on a weekly basis.

The 23-year-old has plenty of talent, but a lack of consistency belies the nine-figure fee Atletico paid Benfica for him back in 2019.

If Martinez chooses to move on from Ronaldo though, Joao Felix could find the space and responsibility to thrive at international level as part of a team where everyone would be expected to chip in.

Of players to have featured in at least 14 LaLiga games this season, only Mikel Merino, Antoine Griezmann, Ansu Fati and Ousmane Dembele average more than Joao Felix's 0.42 assists per 90.

Utilise Dias to build solid foundation

Arguably Martinez's main struggle by the end of his time with Belgium was managing a defence filled with players who were several years past their prime.

He will need to make sure that Portugal maintain freshness there as a good defence will always give you a chance in international competitions, such as when Portugal conceded just once in four knockout games on their way to winning Euro 2016.

One key decision could be taken out of his hands, with Pepe expected to announce his retirement from international football, but in Ruben Dias, Martinez has the perfect figure to build his defence around.

The Manchester City centre-back is one of the best in Europe and has shown under Pep Guardiola he can also be relied upon in a backline that pushes high to close space and allow the attack to press from the front, something Martinez has often favoured when he has had the tools to do so.

Build around Bruno

Since his move to Man Utd in January 2020, Bruno Fernandes has proven himself to be one of the premier midfielders in Europe, and at the World Cup, he began to show that he can lead for his national team as well.

Only Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi (both 10) had more goal involvements than Fernandes' five (two goals, three assists) in Qatar, while no-one produced more than his three assists.

In the Premier League this season, only Kevin De Bruyne (41) has created more chances from open play than his 40, with the Manchester City man having played a game more, and with plenty of attacking firepower to aim for with Portugal, Fernandes can in theory fill his assist boots over the coming years under Martinez.

Make the most of Leao

One of those talents Fernandes should be working with is Rafael Leao, one of the most exciting attackers in Europe right now.

While Santos had plenty of other fine players to choose from, it was surprising to see Leao reduced to just substitute appearances in all five games at the World Cup, though he still produced two goals before Portugal were eventually eliminated by Morocco in the quarter-finals.

The Milan forward should really be Martinez's primary weapon on the left of the attack, especially if he can replicate the form that saw him win Serie A's player of the season award as the Rossoneri claimed the Scudetto in 2021-22.

Cristiano Ronaldo will still have the chance to represent Portugal after new head coach Roberto Martinez left the door open for him to compete for the national side.

A move to Al Nassr for Ronaldo after the World Cup came after a turbulent period for the 37-year-old saw him released by Manchester United and then dropped by Fernando Santos during Portugal's campaign in Qatar.

Now in Saudi Arabia, it has not been clear whether the 196-cap forward's time on the international stage would end at the start of a new era under Martinez.

However, speaking at his unveiling on Monday, the former Belgium boss confirmed he will talk to Ronaldo, and other players, before making decisions on the squad.

"Decisions have to be made on the pitch. I won't rush into decisions. I want to meet everyone, and from today I want to talk and meet all the players," he said at a press conference.

"Cristiano is part of that list. He's had 19 years in the national team and deserves respect, let's talk. From there, it's up to me to make the best list for the European Championships.

"Tomorrow we will start working to meet all the players, and Cristiano is one of them.

"We will start a football process to try to get to know all the players who will be able to join this team. We will give a chance to all players and respect all who are already in the team.

"I'm delighted to have them by my side. It's a process that we have to face naturally, responsibly, and we're going to make important decisions for the team."

Portugal begin their qualification campaign for Euro 2024 in March against Liechtenstein and Luxembourg.

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