Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo made the sensational move back from Juventus to Premier League side Manchester United this summer. He made an instant impact with the club, but has not been enjoying regular game time. Portugal manager Fernando Santos does not appear to like the situation, and has aimed a dig at Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Many were surprised when Ronaldo started Manchester United's Premier League clash against Everton from the bench last week. Even legendary United manager Sir Alex Ferguson said that a player like Ronaldo should always start after the Red Devils only managed a 1-1 draw that evening.
The move was even more surprising after the five-time Ballon d'Or winner showed fantastic form when he scored the match winner against Villarreal in the Champions League just days before.
Ronaldo is now back with the national team on international duty, and Santos could not help but make a comment about the player's need for more competitive action. "He [Ronaldo] will go to the game because he needs playing time. It's important to him at this stage," said Santos, while speaking about Portugal's upcoming match against Qatar.
He then pointed out that Ronaldo had been left idle for too long while he had been with his club. "The last full game he played was in the Champions League [on September 29]. If he only plays against Luxembourg, he will have practically 15 days without playing with intensity," said Santos.
He then went on to explain that Ronaldo should play more regularly in order to help him deliver his full potential.
"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."
Solskjaer has been under fire for his decisions, and Ronaldo has also made it clear that he is not entirely happy about spending time on the bench. He stormed off the pitch at the end of the draw against Everton, after he was brought in as a substitute near the end of the match. It was not enough time to pull off another miracle, and many are wondering if the manager is employing the correct strategy.