Portugal Coach Fernando Santos, Mezut Ozil Blast Ronaldo Critics, Hails His Epic Football Career

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Portugal Coach Fernando Santos and Mesut Ozil have hailed the epic career of Cristiano Ronaldo while blasting his critics.

Cristiano Ronaldo Portugal
Dos Santos, Mesut Ozil blast Cristiano Ronaldo critics

Cristiano Ronaldo has been at the center of controversies and media spotlights at the ongoing 2022 World Cup.

The former Manchester United forward, who left Manchester United following a schism between him and the club’s hierarchy, is again submerged in controversy in Qatar.

Many thought Cristiano Ronaldo is set for a new dawn away from the Manchester United standoff after he scored Portugal’s 2022 World Cup opening goal.

Ronaldo converted a spot kick to open the scoring for the team in their opening group game victory against Ghana.

However, it has not gone well with the highly-rated player – a frontline forward for the Portuguese. After four matches, he has scored only one goal.

Portugal head coach Dos Santos moved to subbed him off against South Korea. Ronaldo made headlines for appearing furious after he was subbed off.

Cristiano Ronaldo Portugal

Portugal clashed with Switzerland in the round of 16. Dos Santos benched Ronaldo for Goncalo Ramos, who scored three goals to secure a 6-1 victory over Switzerland.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s post-match reaction also made headlines again. He appeared to walk off his teammates and refuse to clap the fans, and later headed to the exit tunnel alone.

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He refused to join Portugal substitutes training and had threatened to leave the squad – a report he and the Portugal FA have denied.

Addressing the World Cup exit rumors and other controversy surrounding the former Manchester United forward, Fernando Santos said Ronaldo had never informed him that he wanted to leave the Portugal World Cup squad.

Dos Santos chided media polemics asking them to stop generating half-baked conversations about Cristiano Ronaldo.

“He has never told me that he wanted to leave our national team, and I think it’s high time we stopped with this conversation, that we stop with the polemics”, the veteran coach said.

Meanwhile, Dos Santos statted that after he told Ronaldo he would not make the starting lineup against Switzerland, the five times Ballon d’Or winner did actually raise some questions and was not comfortable with the idea. However, they both had a great conversation, and there was no hint of a feud.

Cristiano Ronaldo Portugal

“I spoke to him after lunch on the day of the game and invited him into my office”, the coach added.

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“For obvious reasons, Cristiano was not very happy about it as he has always been the starting player. He told me: ‘Do you really think it’s a good idea?’ but we had a normal conversation in which I explained my viewpoints and of course he accepted them. We had a frank and normal conversation.”

Mesut Ozil slammed media, hails Ronaldo

Former German international Mezut Ozil, who joined Real Madrid from Werder Bremen in 2010, has backed the Portugal star and former teammate against the criticisms from fans and pundits.

Ozil came to the defense of his former teammate, blasting fans and pundits for having aimed cheeky digs and generating lies about the player.

Taking to his social media handle, Ozil slammed the media for chasing clout with Ronaldo’s name. He said the football community should be happy for Cristiano Ronaldo playing world-class football for 20 years, even if he is not at his best form.

“He is soon 38 years old – so what’s the surprise that he doesn’t score 50 goals a season anymore? Every football fan out there should be happy to have seen him playing world-class football for 20 years”, the ex-Real Madrid player wrote.

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Ozil added that no player will be able to match the records of Cristiano Ronaldo forever in the game of football. As such, people should learn to show him his due respect.

“I don’t think anyone from the new generation will be able to match his numbers again. He will forever be in his own category. Everyone should show more respect to one of the greatest athletes in sports history…”

Mezut played with Cristiano Ronaldo at Real Madrid from 2010 to 2013. He made 105 appearances for the Los Blancos, scoring 19 goals.

Ozil joined Arsenal from Real Madrid in 2013, where he made 185 appearances, scoring 33 goals. He is currently plying his trade with Istanbul Basaksehir in Turkey. He unhappily retired from international football in 2018 alleging systemic racism in German football.

Ronaldo will be aiming for his first World Cup trophy with Portugal’s national team, but the team must pass the Morocco challenge in the quarterfinal later today.

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