'Cristiano still has a lot to give to football' - Ronaldo expected to join Portugal's Nations League plans

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International retirement talk has been sparked around the 33-year-old forward, but Fernando Santos is confident his talisman will be back for more

Cristiano Ronaldo “still has a lot to give football”, says Fernando Santos, with Portugal expecting their skipper to report for UEFA Nations League duty.

Questions are being asked of the Real Madrid star’s international future on the back of another frustrating World Cup campaign.

Portugal bowed out of Russia 2018 on Saturday, with Uruguay prevailing 2-1 in the last-16 encounter courtesy of a brilliant brace from Edinson Cavani.

Ronaldo, at 33 years of age, is yet to state in public whether he will be adding to his 154 caps, but his manager believes he will be back for more.

"Cristiano still has a lot to give to football," the Euro 2016-winning coach told reporters.

"There is a tournament in September and we hope Cristiano will be with us to help the players grow."

Portugal are due to open their quest for Nations League glory against Italy on September 7.

They will also face Poland in Group 3 as the new competition which contributes towards Euro 2020 qualification throws open its doors.

Ronaldo has plenty of time to weigh up his options before then, with a well-earned break set to carry the five-time Ballon d’Or winner towards the 2018-19 campaign.

As things stand, that season will see him once again leading the line in Madrid.

He did, however, hint at a possible summer move after landing a fifth Champions League crown in May and continues to be linked with a return to Manchester United or big-money transfer to Paris Saint-Germain.

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Ronaldo will be eager to hit the ground running wherever he ends up, with his World Cup having come to a frustrating close.

Drawing a blank against Uruguay means that one of the finest players of all-time is still looking for his first goal in the knockout stages of football’s showpiece event.

His eternal rival Lionel Messi finds himself in the same boat, with the Argentina international having also tasted last-16 heartache on Saturday as the Albiceleste went down 4-3 in a thrilling clash with France.

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