LISBON: Cristiano Ronaldo has been left out of Portugal’s squad for the Nations League and friendly matches at his own request, coach Fernando Santos said Friday.
Santos said he and Ronaldo had discussed the situation after the star moved from Real Madrid to Juventus.
“After a conversation I had with the player, who had just signed with Juventus, I decided, given the process of adaptation he needed, that he would not be with us during this window,” the coach said.
Ronaldo scored at least 40 goals a season in the last eight seasons at Real Madrid but has yet to score for his new club.
Portugal, who were knocked out of the World Cup in the last 16 by Uruguay, host World Cup finalists Croatia in a friendly in Faro on Thursday.
They will then await the visit of Italy on September 10 for their first match in the new Nations League, a format UEFA hopes will give a new edge to matches that were previously friendlies.
Just 13 of the 24 Portuguese players selected were at the World Cup, including forwards Bernardo Silva of Manchester City, Goncalo Guedes and Andre Silva.
Goalkeepers: Rui Patricio (Wolverhampton/ENG), Beto (Goztepe/TUR), Claudio Ramos (Tondela)
Defenders: Cedric Soares (Southampton/ENG), Joao Cancelo (Juventus/ITA), Luis Neto (Zenit St Petersburg/RUS), Mario Rui (Napoli/ITA), Pedro Mendes (Montpellier/FRA), Pepe (Besiktas/TUR), Raphael Guerreiro (Borussia Dortmund/GER), Ruben Dias (Benfica)
Midfielders: Bruno Fernandes (Sporting Lisbon), Gedson Fernandes (Benfica), Pizzi (Benfica), Renato Sanches (Bayern Munich/GER), Ruben Neves (Wolverhampton/ENG), Sergio Oliveira (FC Porto), William Carvalho (Real Betis/ESP)
Forwards: Andre Silva (Sevilla/ESP), Bernardo Silva (Manchester City/ENG), Bruma (RB Leipzig/GER), Gelson Martins (Atletico Madrid/ESP), Goncalo Guedes (Valencia/ESP), Rony Lopes (Monaco/FRA) —AFP