Portugal manager Fernando Santos gives response to Cristiano Ronaldo question before World Cup

Portugal manager Fernando Santos has been asked about Cristiano Ronaldo after his explosive interview about Manchester United.

Ronaldo did not really mention Portugal much when speaking to TalkTV, only to criticise the country’s media for questioning his place in the national team.

He is the captain of the side which has just left for Qatar in search of World Cup glory to go with the Euro 2016 title they lifted.

And at a press conference before the tournament, Santos was – unsurprisingly – asked about Ronaldo and the impact of the interview on Portugal.

Photo by Pedro Fiúza/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Santos on Ronaldo

He said: “Cristiano, like all the players I’ve called up, is hugely hungry to show his abilities.

“Is Ronaldo hungrier (because of the interview)? Let’s wait and see.

“He’s always been hungry, that’s why he stayed at the top of football for so long.

“I’m not interested in the situation a month ago. He has played four games for Manchester United since.”

Ronaldo is a superstar in his homeland but this interview has distracted from his country’s bid for glory and Santos could surely have done without that.

The forward has attracted attention for his interview, and got people talking about him, but from a football perspective, it does help his club or country.

Ronaldo is not immediately United’s problem right now, and they do have a little bit of time to sort out the situation while he is away in Qatar.

Santos will likely be asked about Ronaldo repeatedly during the tournament, just as Erik ten Hag is almost every week for United.

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Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.