Cristiano Ronaldo’s captaincy in Portugal is not in jeopardy as a result of his outburst at the end of Saturday’s World Cup qualifier against Serbia, according to coach Fernando Santos.
After being denied a stoppage-time goal in Saturday’s 2-2 draw, Ronaldo walked off the pitch seconds before the final whistle and was booked for dissent.
When his attempt was cleared by Serbia defender Stefan Mitrovic after it had crossed the line, the 36-year-old was furious.
With no VAR or goal-line technology in place, Dutch referee Danny Makkelie waved play ahead, and a furious Ronaldo threw away his captain’s armband as he made his way to the tunnel.
“Yes, he will keep the armband. Forever,” said Santos. “Cristiano (Ronaldo) is a national example.
“If he had offended the manager, his team-mates or the federation in a thoughtless attitude, then we would have to address the situation. But nothing like that happened.
“It was a moment of huge frustration. And we are talking about a player who is unbeatable when it comes to his eagerness to win.
“Nobody will say now that his reaction was beautiful, but there’s no point to discuss if Cristiano should remain the captain. That’s something I want to be very clear about.”
Ronaldo later took to Instagram to vent his frustrations, posting: “I always give and will give everything for my country, that will never change.
“But there are difficult times to deal with, especially when we feel that an entire nation is being harmed.
“We will keep our heads up and face the next challenge now.”
Ronaldo’s goal would have stood if both Serbia’s and Portugal’s governing bodies had agreed to use goal-line technology prior to the game, according to UEFA.
Portugal boss Fernando Santos claims the referee apologised to him after Cristiano Ronaldo’s disallowed goal vs Serbia 👀 pic.twitter.com/pAk1lXqLpe
— Goal (@goal) March 28, 2021