Portugal is measured this Saturday before the surprise Morocco for the pass to the semifinals of the World Cup in Qatar. Coach Fernando Santos appeared before the media, but the match took a backseat due to the controversy surrounding Cristiano Ronaldo.
During the last week the Portuguese media published that the striker could leave the concentration. However, the coach himself denied the rumors and revealed his talk with CR7 prior to the duel against Swiss where he sent his star to the bank.
“He never told me that he was going to leave the concentration of Portugal. He didn’t tell me. You have to see what his attitude is like. He celebrated the goals with his teammates, he thanked the fans… ”, he started by saying Santos.
“I had a conversation with Cristiano. We talk about the Portuguese team. It was before the match against Switzerland to tell him why he was going to be a substitute. I told him that he was not going to start in the round of 16. He wasn’t happy with the conversation, as usual. But it was a normal conversation where each one showed his point of view. A normal conversation,” he recounts.
The DT understands the frustration he feels Ronaldo, but maintains that the striker never threatened to leave the team. “When a player is the captain of Portugal and starts on the bench. It’s normal for him not to be happy. When I told him that he wasn’t going to start, he asked me if it was a good idea. Of course he wasn’t happy. But I assure you that he never wanted to leave the concentration ”.
Faced with this whole situation, the coach closed by saying that: “He never told me that he wanted to leave. It’s time to end this and stop. He came out of the locker room against Switzerland, warmed up, went for a run to celebrate the goals with his teammates. He called his companions to thank them for their effort… but he left him alone. Let’s leave Cristiano Ronaldo alone.”