Days after being accused of rape, Cristiano Ronaldo has been left out of the Portugal squad for the next four international matches, as was confirmed by coach Fernando Santos on Thursday.
Addressing a press conference, Santos revealed that he had a conversation with Ronaldo along with Fernando Gomes, the president of the Portuguese Football Federation (FPF) and they arrived at the conclusion that the forward wasn’t, “available for this or the next call-up.”
When asked by reporters, Santos firmly held his ground saying, “ I will not reveal the details of the conversation we three had,” as quoted by Deccan Chronicle.
Ronaldo already has missed two international fixtures in the month of September as Santos explained his, “temporary” absence saying that it was mainly to assist the 33-year old ease his way into Juventus after an incredible career with the Spanish giants.
Santos chose to hit at a different possible for Ronaldo’s absence this time as he said, “This is not what I am saying now.”
Ronaldo’s exclusion from the Portugal squad comes after accusations of rape from an American woman named Kathryn Mayorga.
In a 32-page complaint filed in a district court in Nevada, Mayorga accused the five-time Ballon d’Or of raping her on June 13, 2009.
But coach Santos stood by the player saying, “I know Cristiano Ronaldo very well and I fully believe his word when he says e would never commit a crime like this.”
Gomes had also lent his support for the star forward.
“I believe what he said… because I’ve known Ronaldo for many years and I can attest to his good character,” he had said.
Ronaldo is all set to miss out three Nations League matches-two against Poland and one fixture against Italy. Later this month, he would also miss out on a friendly match against Scotland.
In the meantime, Eder, whose extra-time strike in the final of Euro 2016 had helped his team win the title beating France in the final, has been named in the 25-man squad.
Goalkeepers: Rui Patricio (Wolves/ENG), Beto (Goztepe/TUR), Claudio Ramos (Tondela)
Defenders: Cedric Soares (Southampton/ENG), Joao Cancelo (Juventus/ITA), Kevin Rodrigues (Real Sociedad/ESP), Luis Neto (Zenit/RUS), Mario Rui (Napoli/ITA), Pedro Mendes (Montpellier/FRA), Pepe (Besiktas/TUR), Ruben Dias (Benfica)
Midfielders: Bruno Fernandes (Sporting), Danilo Pereira (FC Porto), Gedson Fernandes (Benfica), Pizzi (Benfica), Renato Sanches (Bayern Munich/GER), Ruben Neves (Wolves/ENG), Sergio Oliveira (FC Porto), William Carvalho (Betis/ESP)
Forwards: Andre Silva (Sevilla/ESP), Bernardo Silva (Manchester City/ENG), Bruma (Leipzig/GER), Eder (Lokomotiv Moscow/RUS), Goncalo Guedes (Valencia/ESP), Helder Costa (Wolves/ENG).
Image credit-Sky News