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Portugal boss defends Cristiano Ronaldo: Go away him alone

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DOHA, Qatar — Portugal coach Fernando Santos has mentioned it is “excessive time” to depart Cristiano Ronaldo alone after going through one other information convention dominated by questions in regards to the striker.

Talking on Friday, Santos gave an in depth account of a dialog with Ronaldo throughout which he instructed the 37-year-old he can be dropped for the round-of-16 tie in opposition to Switzerland.

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He additionally clarified recommendations Ronaldo had tried to depart the World Cup, however afterwards tried to place a cease to questions in regards to the former Manchester United ahead.

“I spoke to him after lunch on the day of the sport and invited him into my workplace,” Santos mentioned.

“For apparent causes Cristiano was not completely satisfied about it as he has at all times been the beginning participant.

“He instructed me: ‘Do you actually assume it is a good suggestion?’ However we had a standard dialog by which I defined my viewpoints and naturally he accepted them. We had a frank and regular dialog.

“He has by no means instructed me he wished to depart the nationwide staff and it is excessive time we stopped with the dialog.

“He determined to heat up together with his colleagues and celebrated all of the targets we scored. On the finish he was the one who invited his colleagues to thank the followers.

“It is excessive time to depart Cristiano Ronaldo alone. In each information convention, 90% of the questions are about Cristiano Ronaldo.”

In Ronaldo’s absence, Portugal beat Switzerland 6-1 with alternative striker Goncalo Ramos, 21, scoring a hat trick.

Santos, nevertheless, left the door open for Ronaldo to return to the staff for the quarterfinal with Morocco on Saturday by insisting it will be a “totally different sport.”

“Each participant is not completely satisfied when they’re on the bench,” Santos mentioned.

“It’s very regular and managers simply should take care of it. Simply because a staff wins does not imply you do not change. Morocco will current us with various things, they’re a particularly nicely organised staff with plenty of high quality. You assume this match would be the identical?”

Santos was joined at his information convention by Joao Felix, who hinted that the gamers will not be proud of the media protection surrounding Ronaldo.

“I wish to go away a message to the Portuguese individuals and to the press,” he mentioned.

“Portugal is in a fantastic competitors. We’ve not reached the quarterfinals for a very long time. We should always all be nearer collectively and never attempt to make the environment worse.”

Felix additionally mentioned he would solely take into consideration his membership future after the World Cup following experiences he may go away Atletico Madrid in January.

“I’ve already mentioned I am targeted 100% on the nationwide squad,” he added.

“I am solely involved with giving an excellent efficiency to assist this staff and Portugal and the Portuguese individuals. Atletico Madrid is one thing I’ve to have a look at when the World Cup ends as a result of I am 100% targeted right here.”

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