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Cristiano Ronaldo

'Ingratitude!' - Ronaldo critics sent 'blush with shame' message as Carvalhal defends under-fire Portugal captain

17:17 GMT+3 27/09/2022
Ronaldo-Portugal-2022
Cristiano Ronaldo is the victim of "ingratitude", according to Carlos Carvalhal, who is backing the Portugal star to make his critics "blush".
  • Ronaldo flopped in win over Czechs
  • Calls for Santos to drop him
  • Carvalhal slams striker's critics

WHAT HAPPENED? Ronaldo has come under intense scrutiny for his disappointing display in Portugal's 4-0 Nations League victory over the Czech Republic, during which he suffered a painful nose injury. The 37-year-old was well off the pace and made basic errors throughout the 90 minutes, leading to calls for Fernando Santos to drop him from his starting XI.

WHAT THEY SAID: Former Swansea boss Carvalhal, who is now in charge of UAE outfit Al Wahda, has jumped to his compatriot's defence ahead of Portugal's next outing against Spain. He wrote on Twitter: "Ingratitude. One of the best players of all time, who has always played with pride for our national team, when perhaps for the first time, he needs support… many turn their backs and only criticize him. Maybe today they won't blush with shame... Strength Portugal, strength CR7."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Ronaldo has also made a poor start to the season at club level for Manchester United. The five-time Ballon d'Or winner has just one goal to his name from eight appearances in all competitions, and has been dropped to the bench for the Red Devils' last four Premier League outings.

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WHAT NEXT FOR RONALDO? After Portugal's Nations League meeting with Spain on Tuesday, Ronaldo will link up with United again ahead of their return to Premier League action against rivals Manchester City on Sunday.