World Cup Qatar 2022 “Leave Cristiano alone”

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Fernando Santos denies that the Portuguese star threatened to leave concentration after coming on against Switzerland in the eighth finals. Joao Félix: “I’ll talk about Atlético when the World Cup is over”

What happened in the press room of the Qatar Convention Center during the Portugal-Morocco preview was foreseeable. Ninety percent of the questions to Fernando Santos, the Portuguese coach, were about the situation of Cristiano Ronaldo in the team, who came on as a substitute in Switzerland’s 6-1 defeat in the round of 16, and who allegedly threatened to leave after he day after that meeting did not want to train with the substitutes.

Santos had taken it, who was strong from his first reaction and denied the biggest one: “There was a conversation with Ronaldo. The bad would have been that he didn’t have it. This conversation had to happen. I don’t do it with everyone, that’s true, but someone who is who they are, everything they represent to the Portuguese… It had to be done. It happened on the day of the game, after lunch. I’ve never had a conversation before. I explained to him the reasons why I was not going to play. I said I wasn’t counting on him in the beginning, but that he would be very important during the game, I could solve that in the second half. Cristiano, of course, was not happy. He always played as a starting player. Not only did he accept the arguments, but it was a normal conversation. And he never told me he wanted to leave the national team.

From there, Santos wanted to get to the root of the problem, especially as it clouded his team’s mood at the gates of one of the most important matches in Portugal’s history. Absent from the semi-finals of the 2006 World Cup, it is not the problem that worries the neighboring country most now, but everything that happens to his franchise player: “I think it’s time to stop some things”, continued the coach. “The best example of what I’m saying is his attitude when he went onto the field that he gave in the game. He warmed up, jumped for joy with all the goals and in the end it was he who called on his teammates to go and thank the crowd. Leave Ronaldo alone. He doesn’t deserve this with everything he’s done for Portuguese football.”

Joao Félix, who patiently accompanied his coach in a packed press room, was not spared questions. Starting in three of four games, often decisive, the rojiblanco performs at a high level in the World Cup. For his part, he denied that Cristiano’s absence from the eleven has changed the way the national team plays, as suggested by centre-back Jose Fonte, who came to say that with CR7 on the pitch, the whole game should revolve around the . “Fonte will have his reasons for saying that and I respect them,” explains Joao Félix. “But I don’t feel the obligation to pass the ball to Cristiano. It doesn’t affect whether he’s there or not, so the team plays worse ».

Joao Félix was also not spared to answer about his future at Atlético, although he did not reveal much more than what was suspected before January. “I will talk about Atlético after the World Cup. Now I’m fully focused on representing my country and having a great tournament.” The insistence didn’t get him there.

Source: La Verdad

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