Cristiano Ronaldo left out of Portugal squad for Nations League at own request

Coach Fernando Santos said he had discussed the situation with the Juventus maverick following his summer move from Real Madrid

Sport360 staff 2018/08/31

Portugal’s record appearance maker and goalscorer Cristiano Ronaldo has been left out of the Portugal squad for the upcoming Nations League and friendly matches at his own request.

Coach Fernando Santos said on Friday that he had discussed the situation with the Juventus maverick following his summer move from Real Madrid.

“After a conversation I had with the player, who had just signed with Juventus, I decided, given the process of adaptation he needed, that he would not be with us during this window,” Santos said.

Ronaldo has won 154 caps for his country, 27 more than the great Luis Figo, while his 85 goals is 38 more than former striker Pauleta.

He has scored at least 40 goals a season in the last eight seasons at Madrid but has yet to score for his new club.

Portugal, who were knocked out of the World Cup in the last 16 by Uruguay, host World Cup finalists Croatia in a friendly in Faro on Thursday.

They then host Italy on September 10 for their first match in the new Nations League, a format UEFA hopes will give a new edge to matches that were previously friendlies.

Just 13 of the 24 Portuguese players selected for the Nations League were at the World Cup in Russia earlier this summer, including forwards Bernardo Silva of Manchester City, Goncalo Guedes and Andre Silva.


Portugal squad

Goalkeepers: Rui Patricio (Wolverhampton), Beto (Goztepe), Claudio Ramos (Tondela)

Defenders: Cedric Soares (Southampton), Joao Cancelo (Juventus), Luis Neto (Zenit St Petersburg), Mario Rui (Napoli), Pedro Mendes (Montpellier), Pepe (Besiktas), Raphael Guerreiro (Borussia Dortmund), Ruben Dias (Benfica)

Midfielders: Bruno Fernandes (Sporting Lisbon), Gedson Fernandes (Benfica), Pizzi (Benfica), Renato Sanches (Bayern Munich), Ruben Neves (Wolverhampton), Sergio Oliveira (FC Porto), William Carvalho (Real Betis)

Forwards: Andre Silva (Sevilla), Bernardo Silva (Manchester City), Bruma (RB Leipzig), Gelson Martins (Atletico Madrid), Goncalo Guedes (Valencia), Rony Lopes (Monaco)

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