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17th Jan 2023

José Mourinho slams Portugal’s decision to hire Roberto Martínez

Callum Boyle

‘I was not just his first choice but his only choice’

Roma boss José Mourinho has slammed Portugal’s decision to hire Roberto Martínez and claimed that he was the “only choice” to replace Fernando Santos.

Mourinho has revealed that he received an approach from the Portuguese Football Federation (PFF) and said that he was offered the job first.

In addition to opening up about the offer, Mourinho also claimed that he was the PFF’s only preferred candidate for the role, despite Martínez being chosen instead.

“Today I was in a position to speak and I have spoken,” he revealed, as per

“I will take advantage of that to thank the president of the Portuguese Football Association – what he said to me made me very proud.

“Portugal is my country and he told me that he would have done everything possible to get me, that I was not just his first choice but his only choice.”

Roberto Martínez

Martínez’s appointment took people by surprise after he had been relieved of his duties by Belgium after an underwhelming World Cup display in Qatar.

One of his biggest tasks will be to decide what to do with Cristiano Ronaldo. The 37-year-old lost his spot in the starting XI in the latter stages of the World Cup but Martínez has said he will assess everyone in the squad ahead of the upcoming Euro’s qualifiers.

At his unveiling, he said: “The list of 26 players from the World Cup is my starting point and Cristiano is a player on that list, he has been with the national team for 19 years and he deserves the respect of being able to sit down and talk.

“From there it is to create, in ten weeks, the best team for our matches, for the qualification for the European Championship. Today is a day of satisfaction. Tomorrow we will start working, getting to know all the players and Cristiano is one of them.”

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