Cristiano has not done Portugal boss Fernando Santos any favors. No doubt the pre-game press conferences focus on the controversy brought to the training camp by Cristiano’s actions.
During the games against Ghana, Uruguay and South Korea, the fans and the media will scrutinize the team through the lens of controversy. The words of the interview either bring blame or motivation to Ronaldo’s performances at the World Cup.
Already, there are videos circling the internet of Cristiano’s teammates appearing less than impressed with him. Manchester United teammate Bruno Fernandes gave Cristiano a particularly amusing greeting when he joined the national team.
Manchester City defender João Cancelo showed no interest in bantering with Cristiano during team training today. The two had an awkward interaction with Cancelo showing his displeasure at Cristiano’s approach.
Teammates quickly tried to play it all down. João Mario attributed Bruno Fernandes’s act to the midfielder simply showing up last to the national side. In regards to the Cancelo incident, those close to the team said Ronaldo was trying to bridge an altercation between Cancelo and another player.
Ronaldo throwing controversy at Portugal during the World Cup
Cristiano alienated himself from his current employer as well as former Manchester United teammates Gary Neville and Wayne Rooney. Now, it seems his countrymen are giving him the cold shoulder.
Things could get ugly on the field. The superstar forward has a history of expressing frustration towards his teammates. Sometimes, that can be good, as it inspires those around him to do better. However, there is a potential consequence of dividing the squad.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s inconsistency between starts and substitutions plays a major role in the drama unfolding at Old Trafford. If Fernando Santos continues the pattern and benches Cristiano on the biggest stage, it would only deepen the drama and controversy.
We’ve seen how Cristiano responds. The last thing the Portugal team needs is for the Manchester United sideshow to spill over into their World Cup campaign.
Sadly, Cristiano will do what Cristiano wants. He seems less interested in Portugal winning the World Cup, and more interested in Cristiano Ronaldo winning the World Cup.
There may be “no I in team” but there are two I’s in Cristiano.
PHOTO: IMAGO / NurPhoto
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