Soccer

Portugal coach Santos insists Ronaldo will 'remain the captain'

Portugal coach Fernando Santos insists Cristiano Ronaldo will ‘remain the captain and is an example for everyone’ despite storming off the pitch after refereeing error denies him clear winner against Serbia

  • Cristiano Ronaldo has been defended by Portugal coach Fernando Santos 
  • Forward stormed off the pitch after he was incorrectly denied winner vs Serbia 
  • 36-year-old thought he scored late winner but referee judged it didn’t cross line
  • Ronaldo could face action from FIFA following his furious on-pitch outburst  

Portugal coach Fernando Santos has leapt to the defence of Cristiano Ronaldo, insisting he will remain the team captain despite storming off the pitch against Serbia.

The Juventus superstar, 36, was left furious after being denied the winner for his side in a 2-2 draw after an error in judgement by referee Danny Makkelie who deemed the ball had not crossed the line.

Ronaldo could face a sanction by FIFA after throwing his captain’s armband to the ground and shouting in the linesman’s face, but Santos has got behind the forward, insisting he will remain the team’s captain.

Fernando Santos insists Cristiano Ronaldo remains Portugal captain despite walking off pitch

Santos insists Ronaldo remains the captain and ‘is an example to us all’ despite incident 

Portgual have another World Cup Qualifier against Luxembourg tomorrow, and Santos suggested it is likely Ronaldo will feature, and continue to hold the armband. 

‘It was just a moment of frustration. Cristiano will remain the captain. He is an example for everyone’, said Santos after the game.

‘If he had offended the coach or his teammates, we would have thought about it, but nothing of this happened.

‘He always wants to win, and he was very frustrated. He gives everything to his national team.

‘He published a social media post ten minutes after the game, but nobody says it was nice from him.’

Ronaldo looked to have scored the winner in injury-time but the officials thought it was cleared

 Ronaldo screamed in the face of a linesman after a late winning goal was not awarded 

With the match finely poised at 2-2 it appeared Ronaldo had secured three vital points when he rounded goalkeeper Marko Dmitrovic to score.

Defender Stefan Mitrovic raced to clear on the goal line and hacked the ball away, leaving the officials to declare it had not gone over the line and to continue playing. 

Makkelie revealed he apologised to Santos after the game for the error in judgement which denied his side an important victory.

Despite this later revelation, there was no changing Makkeile’s mind at the time after being hounded by Portgual’s players and staff. 

Referee Danny Makkelie (right) has since come out and revealed he apologised to the players

It has yet to be confirmed whether Ronaldo will face a sanction for his outburst, with his actions seemingly breaching Article 11 in FIFA’s Disciplinary Code is titled: ‘Offensive conduct or violation of the principles of fair play’.

The article says: ‘Associations and clubs, as well as their players, officials or any other member or person performing a function on their behalf, must comply with the Laws of the Game, the FIFA Statutes and the regulations, directives, guidelines, circulars and the decisions of FIFA; likewise, they must comply with the principles of fair play, loyalty and integrity.’




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