Portugal Coach Strongly Hints Cristiano Ronaldo Might Be Dropped for World Cup Games

Portugal Coach Strongly Hints Cristiano Ronaldo Might Be Dropped for World Cup Games

Rene Otinga
updated at April 12, 2023 at 8:17 PM
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  • Portugal coach Fernando Santos says he is under no obligation to play Cristiano Ronaldo at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar
  • Ronaldo has been struggling this season both on and off the pitch, and recently made headlines for his sensational interview with Piers Morgan
  • The 37-year old was absent once again for Portugal as they triumphed 4-0 in a warm-up game against Nigeria on Thursday night

Portugal boss Fernando Santos has hinted at possibly dropping embattled Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo.

So far this season, Cristiano only has three goals to his name as and his struggles have not been limited to the pitch alone.

Off the pitch, the 37-year-old is making headlines for his sensational interview with Piers Morgan, where he all but burned bridges with his current club Manchester United.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal, World Cup, Fernando Santos
Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates with Fernando Santos after the FIFA World Cup 2022 European qualifying round match between Portugal and Republic of Ireland. Photo by Pedro Fiúza.
Source: Getty Images

Amid his struggles this season, Santos came out to boldly declare he was not obligated to play the five-time Ballon d’Or winner.

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As reported by The Sun, the Portugal coach was asked whether he felt forced to play Cristiano, something he vehemently denied.

"Forced? This is not about forcing me. This is not a requirement. No one is forced to do anything here. The question could be, you could ask me, based on what Cristiano Ronaldo did [in recent weeks on the pitch] should he start?"

Santos said this remark was valid for Ronaldo and all the players who are with the national team, and came hours before Portugal played Nigeria in a warm-up friendly - which Ronaldo did not feature in.

It was widely reported that the superstar missed the game because of illness.

Portugal play African giants Ghana in their opener on November 24, and their emphatic 4-0 win over Nigeria on Thursday will surely have elevated their spirits.

Bruno Fernandes addresses Ronaldo relationship

Sports Brief earlier reported on Bruno Fernandes' sentiments on his Portugal teammate Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Manchester United midfielder insisted there was no beef between himself and Ronaldo, adding he was yet to watch the explosive Piers Morgan interview.

Fernandes was on target with two goals in Portugal’s win over Nigeria's Super Eagles on Thursday, November 17.

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Rene Otinga
Rene Otinga is a sports journalist with over eight years of working experience in digital media. Rene's experience includes working as a Copywriter at X News Kenya and TUKO.co.ke.