Portugal coach, Fernando Santos, has insisted that Cristiano Ronaldo needs playing time after being rested by Manchester United because it is important for him at this stage of his career.
Ronaldo was dropped by Man United manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, in their Premier League 1-1 draw with Everton last weekend at Old Trafford.
The 36-year-old surprisingly started on the bench but came on in the second half as the game ended in a draw after normal time.
Solskjaer was heavily criticised for his decision to bench Ronaldo, while former Man United boss, Sir Alex Ferguson was caught on camera telling ex-UFC fighter, Khabib Nurmagomedov that he felt the call to drop the forward gave Everton a boost.
Speaking at his pre-match press conference on Friday ahead of Portugal’s friendly clash with Qatar on Saturday, Santos said at his pre-match press conference: “Thinking about the game against Qatar is not about records, he [Ronaldo] will always beat that record. He’s not worried about it.
“He will go to the game because he needs playing time. It’s important to him at this stage.
“The last full game he played was in the Champions League.
“If he only plays against Luxembourg, he will have practically 15 days without playing with intensity.
“At this point, I will say that there are strong possibilities of Ronaldo going to the game against Qatar, either starting or coming on later during the second half, so that the competitive rhythms are at their maximum against Luxembourg.”