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World Cup: Time to leave him alone – Portugal coach on Ronaldo quitting team


Portugal manager, Fernando Santos, has said, “it’s high time to leave” his captain Cristiano Ronaldo alone.

Santos said this while dismissing reports that Ronaldo had threatened he would quit the Portugal World Cup squad in Qatar.

Recall that reports had emerged that Ronaldo threatened to exit Portugal’s World Cup team after he was benched by Santos in their 6-1 victory over Switzerland in the last-16.

Portugal’s FA has since denied the reports, insisting that Ronaldo never threatened to leave the team during a conversation with Santos.

However, speaking on the development during his pre-match press conference ahead of Portugal’s World Cup quarter-final tie with Morocco on Saturday, Santos clarified the situation with Ronaldo himself.

He said, “I think it is high time to leave Ronaldo alone.

“He has never told me that he wanted to leave our national team, and I think it is high time we stopped with this conversation, that we stop with the polemics.”

Explaining how he broke the news that Ronaldo would be benched against Switzerland, Santos said: “I spoke to him after lunch on the day of the game and invited him into my office.

“For obvious reasons, Cristiano was not very happy about it as he has always been the starting player. He told me: ‘Do you really think it is a good idea?’ but we had a normal conversation in which I explained my viewpoints and of course he accepted them.

“We had a frank and normal conversation.”

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