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The Reason Behind Cristiano Ronaldo's Nations League Absence Confirmed By Portugal Manager Fernando Santos

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The Reason Behind Cristiano Ronaldo's Nations League Absence Confirmed By Portugal Manager Fernando Santos

Fernando Santos has confirmed the reason why he's left Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo out of the 23-man squad to face Switzerland in the Nations League on Sunday evening.

The 37-year-old striker scored two goals against the Swiss in the reverse fixture just last week when Portugal were comfortable winners in a 4-0 victory.

Santos' side are sitting at the summit of their Nations League group, while Murat Yakin's men are winless in their three games.

Despite being the lethal threat that he is - scoring 117 goals for his country - it makes sense to rest Ronaldo.

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He will be pivotal for the team in their World Cup efforts at the end of the year, after finishing as the top goalscorer at Euro 2020, the last international tournament.

Cristiano Ronaldo finished as the top goalscorer at Euro 2020 with five goals. (Alamy)
Cristiano Ronaldo finished as the top goalscorer at Euro 2020 with five goals. (Alamy)

Injuries were popping up for the talisman at United last season; particularly with his hip flexor, which both Erik ten Hag and Santos will want to approach carefully.

When asked about the reason for Ronaldo's absence in his pre-match press conference, Santos explained: "There are no physical problems. It is normal management.

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"It wouldn't make sense to have 26 players travelling if we can only play 23. It fell to these players to miss out, that's all."

This could allow Ronaldo an earlier return to pre-season training with Manchester United, with Erik ten Hag confirming a start-date on the 27th of June.

The players that are with their nations currently will have a later starting date in order to have proper recovery from what seemed like an endless campaign last term.

However, it would not be a surprise to see the veteran forward looking to impress the new manager and set an example by arriving before his expected date.

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Cristiano Ronaldo in Portugal training. (Alamy)
Cristiano Ronaldo in Portugal training. (Alamy)

Fellow Portuguese international Ruben Neves is a player that has been linked with an Old Trafford move for some time. He spoke on Ronaldo's importance for the national team, but relayed that the team can win the match against Switzerland without him.

"Obviously, Cristiano is the best player in the world," He stated in the pre-match press conference.

"It's always good to play with him, but I'm sure we're prepared to help bring home another three points."

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The pair will face off against each other in the Premier League next season. The details for the fixture-list will be announced by the league on the 16th of June.



Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Cristiano Ronaldo, Manchester United, Portugal, UEFA Nations League, Erik Ten Hag, Ruben Neves

Cain Smith
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