Ronaldo's situation worries in Portugal

The 2022 World Cup is fast approaching and Portugal is holding its breath. The Seleção das Quinas is preparing to play this great football event with, this time, capacities at half mast. The situation of its star Cristiano Ronaldo particularly worries the Portuguese.

A few weeks before D-Day, fate seems to be beating down on the team of Portuguese coach Fernando Santos. Injured in the shock against Olympique de Marseille, Parisian defender Danilo Pereira had to come out injured while Diogo Jota, hit in the right thigh during added time in the match between Liverpool and Manchester City, left the lawn on a stretcher and its presence in Qatar is now illusory.

But, it is especially Cristiano Ronaldo who is the first source of concern. After having already lost key elements, due to lack of injury, Santos must deal with a Cristiano Ronaldo in the hard at Manchester United.

After a lively summer transfer window, Ronaldo ultimately stayed in Manchester despite rumors that he is ready to move on to numerous European clubs. Since the start of the season with the Red Devils, “CR7” has most often had to settle for bits of matches off the bench. He only started twice.

The Portuguese, accustomed to relentlessly chaining matches as a starter since the start of his professional career in 2002, is only a luxury replacement for Erik ten Hag and has only started twice this season in the league (1 goal).

Back in training, after being sidelined during the last games, caused by his refusal to come into play against Tottenham a few days earlier, Cristiano Ronaldo still sees his future in dotted lines.

In his last year of contract, the fivefold Ballon d’Or wants to pack up, a departure that Manchester United no longer opposes, ready to release his striker in January.

If he no longer plays (or plays little) in a club, Ronaldo risks presenting himself in Qatar for his 10th major international tournament “without rhythm and without landmarks”. Asked in mid-September, coach Fernando Santos assured that he had “no worries” around his captain. Top scorer in the history of selections, a Euro and a League of Nations, the native of Funchal has been the cornerstone of the Seleção for almost 20 years.

In Portugal, his status as boss of the national team, with which the 2016 European champion has totaled nearly 200 caps (117 goals and 43 assists), is not threatened, despite some criticism after his poor performance in the Republic Czech (4-0) in September.

At 37, the Iberian star is “visibly” on the downward slope. Nevertheless, for the majority of Portuguese, “it is inconceivable to imagine the World Cup without him”.

“I think no one doubts that Cristiano Ronaldo continues to be important for the selection,” said the national coach when presenting his list for the last League of Nations meetings.

From the top of his golden record, the superstar always seems to be a priority at the forefront of the Portuguese attack in the head of his coach, called to prepare the next generation, according to the Portuguese press.

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