Ronaldo cites ‘heat of moment’ after left off Manchester United squad
Brazil’s Ronaldo has reportedly made a ‘great decision’ by withdrawing from the national side, after claiming he was unfairly omitted from the Portugal squad.
The left-back was left out of the squad for their friendly with Poland, and on Monday, he posted on Twitter: ‘I’m sorry to all the fans and people who were expecting me. I’m leaving the national team to play with my other national team, Portugal’.
Ronaldo has been criticised in particular for his performance against Belgium last Thursday, with many claiming that he left a gaping hole in a defence that had been struggling with defensive injuries, and several fans calling for his removal from the team.
In his post on Twitter, Ronaldo did not respond to the complaints, saying simply: ‘I’ve decided not to play for the national team. I wish everyone well. Thank you for the support. See you soon’.
As expected, Ronaldo’s decision will have a massive impact on Portugal’s hopes of reaching the knockout stages of the 2018 World Cup, as they have only been drawn in the play-off round.
A Portugal statement released later on Monday said: ”Ronaldo did not play for the national team on April 26 after the friendly against Poland, but left the team later in the day, on Friday, in the heat of the moment due to personal reasons.”
Ronaldo was due to make one appearance for Portugal in the friendly against Panama on Tuesday, and the World Cup in Russia has been an unhappy time for him at the club and country, where he has suffered a series of injuries throughout his six-year time at Old Trafford.
It was a similar story at Real Madrid, where injury fears have dogged his career for several years.
Ronaldo has not signed a new contract with United, and has only been offered a new Designated Player contract after talks broke down and the club’s board had to be convinced he would settle, particularly after his decision to move to the Bernabeu.
Ronaldo’s decision to leave the Portuguese squad and miss out on a potential run to the last-16 stages of the World Cup should at least give his current team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo and former team-mate Dani Carvajal a chance to shine, if not for Ronaldo himself.
Cristiano Ronaldo, left, has only played 21 times for Real Madrid