The Seleccao's new head coach has come clean why Cristiano Ronaldo was included in the squad for the upcoming international games.

New Portuguese head coach Roberto Martinez has explained why he named Cristiano Ronaldo for the upcoming Euro 2024 qualifying matches. The 49-year-old Spaniard has insisted that the Seleccao talisman still has a lot to offer despite drawing the curtains on European club football.

Martínez joined Portugal in January after ending a six-year stint with the Belgium national team. The former Everton manager vacated his post after underachieving with the Red Devils' golden generation, exiting the 2022 FIFA World Cup in the group-stage. On Friday, he named his first squad on since taking over from Fernando Santos who was sacked after disappointing spell in Qatar.

The list featured Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo. During the tournament in Qatar, the 38-year-old, who currently plays for Saudi team Al-Nassr, was excluded from Santos' starting lineup for Portugal's knockout-phase games, including the quarterfinal defeat to Morocco. The player subsequently expressed his displeasure with the manner in which things unfolded but iterated his commitment to continue with the national team, going against the wishes of fans who were calling for his retirement.

With the chance to increase his international goal tally, Ronaldo has been called up to competes against Liechtenstein on March 23 and Luxembourg three days later in the European Championship qualifiers.

"Cristiano Ronaldo is a player who is completely committed to the national team," Martínez said.

"I don't look at age or other aspects. He has the chance to help the team and pass on his experience to other players."

Since joining Al-Nassr, Cristiano Ronaldo has scored eight goals in nine appearances and is expected to carry his fine form to the national team. Back in September 2021, the five-time Ballon d'Or winner broke the world record for international goals when he scored twice against Republic of Ireland in Portugal's European Qualifier in Faro-Loulé. He has since increased his tally to 118.