Ex-Portugal boss who once benched Cristiano Ronaldo set to manage in Saudi Pro League

Cristiano Ronaldo has achieved a lot in his career, but his achievements with Portugal remain the highlight of his career, as he once stated in the past. Cristiano Ronaldo has spent two decades playing in the Portugal national team after making his debut in 2003. He’s now the record goalscorer in international men’s football, with over 100 goals to his name.

Ronaldo has had an amazing career in both club and international football. The Portuguese is Portugal’s most-capped player but has also achieved a lot in his club career, especially with Real Madrid, where he spent the longest period of his career after signing from Manchester United in 2009.

Ronaldo now plays in the Saudi Pro League, where he could be joined by his former manager in the Portugal national team setup, Fernando Santos.

Fernando Santos and Cristiano Ronaldo reunite in Saudi Arabia

The Saudi Pro League has been the highlight of the summer’s transfer window. Several Saudi clubs have signed some high-profile players and are now beginning to poach some of the world’s best managers to help make the league more competitive. Karim Benzema, N’golo Kante, Ruben Neves, Roberto Firmino, and Riyad Mahrez have all signed for Saudi clubs recently, following Ronaldo’s January move to the league.

Fulham’s Marco Silva rejected a huge €40 million deal to Saudi Arabian club Al-Ahli some days ago. However, this hasn’t stopped another Saudi club, Al-Shabab, from poaching another Portuguese coach, Fernando Santos. According to Sportskeeda, Santos is nearing a move to Al-Shabab as the club’s new manager ahead of the new Saudi Pro League season.

Portugal axed the manager after a disappointing World Cup campaign last year. He currently managed the Poland national team and could be forced to leave his job there to reunite with Cristiano Ronaldo in the Saudi Pro League.

Why did Santos keep Ronaldo on the bench?

Cristiano Ronaldo only scored once in Portugal’s World Cup campaign last year, and that came in the team’s opening game against Ghana. Ronaldo clearly wasn’t at his best after a nightmare second season with Manchester United, and all those distractions could have led to his loss of form at the World Cup. His manager benched him for the team’s knockout games, much to the five-time Ballon d’Or winner’s dismay.

Reprezentacja Polski. Fernando Santos był chwalony przez Cristiano Ronaldo. Wymieniał go obok najlepszych (sport.tvp.pl)

Things didn’t end well for both parties as Portugal was knocked out by Morocco in the quarter-finals. Santos was sacked after the tournament and was replaced by former Belgium coach Roberto Martinez, who was also sacked after the World Cup from his role as Belgium’s manager.


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