Portugal boss Fernando Santos insists Cristiano Ronaldo was not called up because of an agreement but ‘fully believes’ the Juventus forward is innocent.
Ronaldo was again overlooked for Portugal’s upcoming games against Poland and Scotland, but Santos affirmed his absence was not linked to any allegations of rape.
“First of all I’ll say that I always support my players,” the Coach said at a Press conference.
“However, it’s not a question of solidarity. I simply believe in what the player has said publicly, that rape is an abominable crime, while declaring himself innocent.
“I know Ronaldo very well and for that reason, I fully believe in what he said. Not calling him up is a decision agreed by the player, CT and President of the federation.
“We’ve decided that Ronaldo won’t be called up for the next two international breaks, this and the next one.
“He doesn’t want to retire. Ronaldo’s reiterated it several times, explicitly saying that he will always be available to wear the Portugal jersey.”