Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that Cristiano Ronaldo was ‘subject to a political ban’ at the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
The Portuguese ace endured a torrid campaign in Qatar as the Selecao were knocked out in the quarter-finals by Morocco.
He scored just once – a penalty in their opening game win over Ghana – and didn’t start either of their games in the knockout rounds.
Erdogan, however, feels sympathetic towards Ronaldo, saying that sending him on with only 30 minutes left on the clock ‘ruined’ his mental status.
Speaking at a youth event in Turkey, the president said (via Anadolu Agency):
“They have wasted Ronaldo. Unfortunately, they have imposed a political ban on him. Sending a footballer like Ronaldo to the pitch with just 30 minutes remaining to the match ruined his psychology and took away his energy.”
Beleaguered by a horrendous few months with Manchester United that eventually led to an acrimonious exit, Cristiano Ronaldo didn’t enter Qatar in the best shape or form.
Despite his opening goal from the penalty spot, the 37-year-old was poor from open play and was also at fault for one of South Korea’s goals in Portugal’s 2-1 group stage loss.
This led to head coach Fernando Santos dropping him to the bench for their round of 16 clash with Switzerland, where his team won 6-1.
Erdoğan on Ronaldo vs Morocco:
“They wasted Ronaldo’s talent. Unfortunately, they imposed a political ban on him. Sending a footballer like Ronaldo onto the pitch, 30 minutes from the end of the match, upset his mind and deprived him of his energy.”
Ronaldo was then omitted from the lineup against the Moroccans and was only brought on in the second half when Portugal were trailing 1-0, but he didn’t have the desired impact once again.
After full time, he was seen leaving the pitch in tears as the former Real Madrid star’s fifth and possibly last World Cup ended in disappointing fashion.
Cristiano Ronaldo currently looking for a new club
With the World Cup now done and dusted, Cristiano Ronaldo is looking for a new club as his future seems to be up in the air.
Following his exit from Manchester United, the Portuguese star is a free agent and is mulling his next move.
Will any club make Ronaldo’s wish for a European move come true?
He’s waiting to see if offers emerge, before committing to Saudi Arabia’s Al Nassr until 2025
He’s keen to play in the Champions League, although no club from the competition has come forward with an offer yet.
Eintracht Frankfurt CEO recently revealed that Ronaldo was offered to them while adding that he must have been offered to all teams that have reached the last-16 stage.
However, Saudi Arabia’s Al-Nassr is the only club that has expressed interest so far.
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