News Corp is a network of leading companies in the worlds of diversified media, news, education, and information services.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s girlfriend ranted at Portugal manager Fernando Santos for making the ‘wrong decision’ and ‘underestimating’ her partner following the nation’s World Cup exit.
Georgina Rodriguez posted a pointed message on Instagram after Portugal lost 1-0 to Morocco on Saturday, as Ronaldo’s likely last World Cup ended in heartbreak at the quarter-final stage.
Captain Ronaldo started a second consecutive game on the bench, but unlike the proceeding 6-1 win over Switzerland, his country wasn’t so lucky.
Ronaldo still managed 39 minutes in defeat to Morocco as a second-half substitute, but was ineffectual as he registered just 10 touches, and sent one late chance straight at the goalkeeper.
Despite that, his girlfriend was quick to jump to his defence again, and targeted her ire at Santos for leaving out the most decorated player in Portugal’s history.
Ronaldo has scored a world record 118 goals since making his Portugal debut in 2003 but, at 37, is coming to the end of his career.
“Today your friend and coach made the wrong decision,” Rodriguez wrote to her 40million followers.
“That friend for whom you have so many words of admiration and respect.
“The same one who, when putting you on the field, saw how everything changed, but it was too late.
“You can’t underestimate the best player in the world, its most powerful weapon. Much less should one stand up for those who don’t deserve it.
“Life gives us lessons. Today we don’t lose, we learn. We admire you.”
Ronaldo’s sisters also posted messages of support, after previously backing their sibling in the aftermath of the Switzerland snub.
The 37-year-old former Manchester United forward was seen in tears post-match, and his sister, Katia Aveiro, posted the image with the words: “This is what breaks my heart.
“In the end it’s about ours… About mine… And about the pride I have in him and the story he wrote.
“With glory, much glory, we’re together my brother, until death.”
Ronaldo’s other sister, Elma, wrote: “Waiting for the list of those guilty for this defeat… The smart commentators from Portugal (oops they’re gone), they must be worried about losing their jobs, it’s hard to say.
“Sad… but you won’t carry that guilt. Sad for the team, now to lift your head high and move on… God knows all things.”
Ronaldo, who is looking for a new club after leaving Man United last month, himself took to social media on Sunday and suggested his international career could now be over.
“Winning a World Cup for Portugal was the biggest and most ambitious dream of my career,” he posted.
“Fortunately I won many titles, including for Portugal, but putting our country’s name on the highest foot in the world was my biggest dream.
“I fought for it. I fought hard for this dream. I gave my all. Leave it all out on the field. I never turned my face to the fight and I never gave up on that dream.
“Sadly yesterday the dream ended. It’s not worth reacting to heat. I just want you all to know that much has been said, much has been written, much has been speculated, but my dedication to Portugal hasn’t changed for a moment.
“I was always one fighting for the objective of all and I would never turn my back on my colleagues and my country.”