Ronaldo ruled out of Portugal Vs Nigeria friendly - Naijarecent
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Ronaldo ruled out of Portugal Vs Nigeria friendly

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Cristiano Ronaldo will miss Thursday’s international friendly game between Portugal and Super Eagles of Nigeria due to stomach bug.

Ronaldo did not take part of Portugal’s training session on Wednesday, having trained the previous two days with the Qatar 2022 World Cup-bound squad.

And speaking after Wednesday’s training, Portugal head coach Fernando Santos said Ronaldo would not recover in time for the friendly against Nigeria.

“Ronaldo has a gastritis and did not train today in order to recover and rest,” Santos was quoted by ESPN.

“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 (Thursday’s game) for sure.”

Asked if the Portugal captain really had a stomach bug or if it was just an excuse following the uproar that Ronaldo’s explosive interview had generated around the world, Santos laughed and said: “If it were another player, we wouldn’t question it but yes, he really has gastritis and is in no condition to play.”

In Sunday’s interview, Ronaldo berated United and said he has no respect for manager Erik ten Hag, leaving his future at Old Trafford uncertain.

He also slammed his former United teammates Gary Neville and Wayne Rooney stating he is not friends with the duo.

But Santos said he respects Ronaldo’s decision and doesn’t believe it will affect his national team.

“He [Ronaldo] didn’t have to inform us about the interview,” Santos said. “Isn’t he free [to make his decisions]?

“What I’m interested is what is being spoken in our camp and not what is being said outside. We have to respect his decision.

“We have to respect the interview he gave. It has nothing to do with the national team.

“It was the player, the man, who decided to give an interview. He doesn’t talk about the national team; it’s a very personal interview and we have to respect that. I didn’t see anyone in the national team commenting on the matter.

“In the interview, he talks about his club and the relationship he has with the club. We have to respect it, as we respect the decisions that other players make. It has no impact on the national team.”

And when asked if he feels obliged to start Ronaldo, Santos said: “I don’t feel any obligations. No one does. All the players that are here can be starters.”

Ronaldo has scored just three goals in 16 games across all competitions and started in just four Premier League games.

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