Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo will miss Portugal’s two internationals next month after not being named in Fernando Santos’ latest squad.
The 33-year-old, who is his country’s most capped player and all-time record scorer, rarely misses friendlies, but Santos confirmed he had discussed the decision with Ronaldo and opted to him after a busy summer.
“After talking to the player, and after he moved to Juventus with all the processes of adaptation that entails, we understand it was best for him to not be present for these games,” Santos told reporters.
Ronaldo joined Juventus from Real Madrid in July and has yet to score for his new club in two outings.
Portugal, who were knocked out in the round of 16 of the World Cup by Uruguay, face Croatia in a friendly on Sept. 6 and Italy in their opening UEFA Nations League match four days later.
A equipa de Quinas ao peito, vai ter estes nomes nas costas. 👊 Estamos prontos! 🇵🇹 #TudoPorPortugal
— Portugal (@selecaoportugal) August 31, 2018
Nine other members of their World Cup squad were left out by Santos including goalkeeper Anthony Lopes, defenders Ricardo Perreira, Bruno Alves and Jose Fonte, midfielders Joao Mario, Joao Moutinho, Adrien Silva and Manuel Fernandes and forward Ricardo Quaresma.
Goalkeeper Claudio Ramos, defender Pedro Mendes and midfielder Gedson Fernandes were called up for the first time.
Goalkeeper: Beto (Goztepe), Claudio Ramos (Tondela), Rui Patricio (Wolverhampton)
Defenders: Cedric Soares (Southampton), Joao Cancelo (Juventus), Luis Neto (Zenit St Petersburg), Mario Rui (Napoli), Pedro Mendes (Montpellier), Pepe (Besiktas), Raphael Guerreiro (Dortmund), Ruben Dias (Benfica)
Midfielders: Bruno Fernandes (Sporting), Gedson Fernandes (Benfica), Pizzi (Benfica), Renato Sanches (Bayern Munich), Ruben Neves (Wolverhampton), Sergio Oliveira (Porto), William Carvalho (Betis)
Forwards: Andre Silva (Sevilla), Bernardo Silva (Manchester City), Bruma (RB Leipzig), Gelson Martins (Atletico Madrid), Goncalo Guedes (Valencia), Rony Lopes (Monaco)