Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal teammates are reportedly perplexed by the presence of the striker’s personal manager at their World Cup camp.
Ronaldo arrived in Qatar in the headlines after the bombshell interview with Piers Morgan and hasn’t left them since.
Manchester United have since ripped up his contract, resulting in widespread rumours as to where Ronaldo will go next, with Saudi Arabian side Al-Nassr said to have made a mammoth offer.
And then he was dropped for Portugal’s last-16 clash with Switzerland after manager Fernando Santos was less than impressed with Ronaldo’s attitude in the group-stage defeat to South Korea.
It’s also been claimed that Ronaldo failed to train with his fello substitutes after that game, instead engaging in a low-intensity session with the starting XI.
Further friction has now been reported by Record, who claim the Portugal players are mystified by the presence of Ronaldo’s personal manager Ricky Regufe at their World Cup camp.
Refuge was a leading marketing manager for Nike but became Ronaldo’s personal manager in 2018.
The report claims ‘a number of players do not understand the reason for him joining up with the squad’, with Refuge said to be sharing spaces designated for players.
They believe he has an ‘excessive influence’ and a big cause of their frustration is that guests have not been allowed at their World Cup camp.
Portugal moved to refute claims of a bust-up between Ronaldo and Santos on Thursday.
The statement read: ‘News released on Thursday claims Cristiano Ronaldo threatened to leave the national team during a conversation with national coach Fernando Santos.
‘The FPF wants to clarify that at no time did national team captain Cristiano Ronaldo threaten to leave the national team during the tournament in Qatar.
‘Cristiano Ronaldo continues to build on his unique record of service to the national team, which should be respected and which attests to his unquestionable degree of commitment to the national team.
‘The national team – players, coaches and the FPF structure – are fully committed and enthusiastic, as has been the case since day one, to building what we hope will be Portugal’s best ever World Cup.’