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01st Jul 2018

Portugal manager optimistic Cristiano Ronaldo will not retire from international football

Some think Ronaldo may call it a day with Portugal

Simon Lloyd

Portugal are out of the World Cup

Despite making it out of their group along with Spain, they fell at the last-16 stage with Edinson Cavani’s brace helping Uruguay to a 2-1 victory in Sochi.

Inevitably, in the time since the match, much of the talk surrounding the Portuguese team has been about its captain, Cristiano Ronaldo.

Now 33, some have wondered if Saturday’s defeat to Uruguay was the last time Ronaldo will be seen at a World Cup. Others have suggested it may well prove to be his final performance for Portugal altogether.

Whereas Ronaldo is yet to comment on his international future, Fernando Santos, his national team manager, has.

Speaking after the defeat to Uruguay, he was asked if Ronaldo had more to give to the Portugal team.

“Certainly yes,” he replied. “Cristiano still has a lot to give, a lot to give to football.

“There’s a tournament in September [the Uefa Nations League] and of course we hope Cristiano will be with us to help these young players to grow. It’s important to have the captain’s presence there and he’s always there for us.”

Ronaldo is now expected to rest before reuniting with Real Madrid ahead of the new season. His club future remains unclear following his comments immediately after the Champions League final although there’s a growing sense that he will not be leaving the Bernabeu any time soon.

Ronaldo ended the competition with fur goals to his name, three of which coming in Portugal’s opening game against Spain, which ended 3-3. This was the fourth time he had appeared at a World Cup, having played for his country in Brazil four years ago, South Africa in 2010 and Germany in 2006.