According to Portugal head coach Fernando Santos, Cristiano Ronaldo has not been influenced by Juventus’ recent difficulties.
The Bianconeri were eliminated from the Champions League in the last-16 stage a fortnight ago by Porto, who defeated them 4-4 on aggregate after extra time at the Allianz Stadium.
Former Juventus manager Fabio Capello pointed out Ronaldo for condemnation, while ex-president Giovanni Cobolli Gigli said the club should never have spent €100 million on the forward in 2018.
Andrea Pirlo’s side came back from that defeat with a 3-1 victory over Cagliari in Serie A, but their dreams of winning the Scudetto for the tenth time in a row were dashed at the weekend with a 1-0 home loss to Benevento.
Ronaldo, who has been linked with transfers to former clubs Real Madrid and Manchester United, has recently joined the Portugal squad for World Cup qualifiers against Azerbaijan, Serbia, and Luxembourg.
And Santos claims he is unconcerned with the 36-year-confidence. old’s
“We’ve always been together, very good friends; we don’t even have a coach-player relationship,” Santos said during a press conference.
“Ronaldo, without a doubt, reflects tremendous quality; he exudes pleasure and excitement when he’s with the squad. He’s a key player, maybe the best in the world. I don’t believe he has any emotional issues at the moment.”
Portugal is a hot favorite to advance from Group A, which also includes the Republic of Ireland, but Santos maintains they will not be complacent as they aim to book their spot in Qatar and win their first World Cup.
“We do not undervalue others. We are aware that Azerbaijan can be extremely risky on the counter-attack. We all know Ronaldo is still looking for new trophies, but all of the players want to win the World Cup. We can compete for world titles,” he said.