Ronaldo loses friendlies in Portugal and Nigeria… and Santos defends him

BERLIN: Cristiano Ronaldo will miss Portugal’s friendly against Nigeria on Thursday due to fatigue. Portugal coach Fernando Santos confirmed Ronaldo’s absence due to fatigue and denied that the player’s televised interview, during which he opened fire on his club English, Manchester United, has had repercussions on the Portuguese national team. Santos said in press conference: “Ronaldo shouldn’t have informed us of the television interview, isn’t he free to make his own decisions?” He added: “What matters to me is what we talk about in our field and not what is said outside of it. We have to respect his decision.” Santos concluded by saying: “We have to respect the interview he gave, which has nothing to do with the national team.” Portugal will begin their campaign in the World Cup in Qatar meeting Ghana on the 24th of this month, then will face Uruguay and South Korea in Group H. (dpa)