Roberto Martinez and Portugal's Golden Chance at Euro 2024

Roberto Martinez, appointed as Portugal's manager, is tasked with leading a talent-rich squad to success at Euro 2024. Martinez has a history of coaching significant soccer talents, including Belgium's golden generation. Despite past setbacks, Martinez aims to guide Portugal to harness their potential and shake off the underachiever tag.

Reuters | Updated: 05-06-2024 07:40 IST | Created: 05-06-2024 07:40 IST
Roberto Martinez and Portugal's Golden Chance at Euro 2024
Roberto Martinez

Portugal manager Roberto Martinez will face high expectations at Euro 2024 with the responsibility of helping a talented squad to reach their potential and shaking off an underachiever tag that the Spaniard and his new team seem to carry.

Martinez, 50, was sacked by Everton and became Belgium manager in 2016 with a similar task to that assigned to him last year when he took over as Portugal coach from Fernando Santos after they lost to Morocco in the 2022 World Cup quarter-finals. Martinez led Belgium's golden generation of Kevin De Bruyne, Eden Hazard, Thibaut Courtois and Vincent Kompany to number one in the world and third place at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

However, his Belgium side were a major disappointment at the 2022 finals in Qatar when they were knocked out in the group stage after finishing third behind Morocco and Croatia. Martinez has now spent a little over a year coaching one of Portugal's finest generations, with 39-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo and 41-year-old Pepe in the twilight of their careers.

He has to deal with the pressure of trying to adapt his team to accommodate Ronaldo and prove they are not underachievers. The Portuguese soccer landscape has been drastically transformed over the past two decades as the national team evolved from a mid-level side into one of the world's best, with the country being viewed as a talent machine.

The rise of Ronaldo and Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho had a major impact on the country's soccer culture, leading them to the Euro 2004 final and their Euro 2016 triumph. Bruno Fernandes, Rafael Leao, Ruben Neves, Bernardo Silva, Vitinha and others will make Portugal, on paper, one of the best teams man-for-man in Germany. They won all of their 10 games in the qualifiers, scoring 36 goals and conceding twice.

Martinez's side are primed for Euro 2024 in a great vein of form but they must now deliver when it really matters, starting with Group F matches against Czech Republic, Turkey and Georgia.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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