With bizarre interview previews with British broadcaster Piers Morgan being released, five-time Ballon d’Or Cristiano Ronaldo has left personnel and players in Manchester United and everyone in the football world stunned. Since then, the Portugal national football team captain has been promoting his sponsors, including Nike, Binance and Livescore through videos and posts on his various social media accounts. Besides, he has reportedly dived back into his national duties and is totally focused on wheeling his country at what would possibly be his fifth and last participation at the FIFA World Cup.
On the other hand, after training with his national team for two days, it is said that things are taking a slight twist for Cristiano Ronaldo as he missed yesterday’s session with a minor health issue and is unlikely to feature in a friendly game between Portugal and Nigeria prior to the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
Fernando Santos: “Cristiano has gastritis.”
Portugal national football team head coach has said that his captain has missed the last training session in order to rest and recover from gastritis caused by stomach bugs and certainly would not make into the squad that will face African side Nigeria tomorrow.
“Ronaldo has a gastritis and did not train today in order to recover and rest. It’s a condition that doesn’t help much, as it affects the players a lot, they lose a lot of liquid, they weaken. He won’t be ready for tomorrow, for sure”, the 68-year-old mentioned.
This sparked concerns whether it has anything to do with the explosive interview Ronaldo did with Piers Morgan that has ruffled many feathers, especially people within the red side of Manchester, but the Portugal national team manager has played down the rumours as such and stressed that this incident will not affect the team whatsoever.
Fernando Santos: “We respect his decision.”
The 37-year-old currently tops the list for most international goals scored (117 Goals in 191 Appearances) and is serving his contract with the Red Devils until June 2023 and has an option to extend it for another year. Nonetheless, the current Manchester United gaffer Erik ten Hag has told owners and executives that the Portugal captain should never play for the club again, prompting Manchester United to make a decision on Ronaldo’s future soon.
When asked about this occurrence, Fernando Santos stated that every player has their freedom to talk about things and the team respects players’ decisions. Furthermore, whatever was spoken in the interview has nothing to do with the Portugal national football team and he would not doubt Ronaldo’s commitment to steering his country in the right direction in the largest football event on the planet.
Portugal is set to face Ghana in their opening FIFA World Cup Group H fixture on 25th November 2022.
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(Photo Credits: Reuters)