Ronaldo 'needs more playing time' says Portugal manager with Man Utd forward set to feature in international friendly

PORTUGAL manager Fernando Santos appears to have criticised Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer claiming Cristiano Ronaldo "needs playing time".

Ronaldo was benched during United's Premier League clash with Everton at Old Trafford last week even though he had scored a late Champions League winner over Villarreal a few days earlier.


Solskjaer's risk backfired as the Red Devils dropped points in a 1-1 draw with the Toffees.

Santos doesn't appear pleased with the Norwegian head coach's decision as he now believes the five-time Ballon d'Or winner needs to regain some essential fitness.

The Portuguese manager has confirmed he is planning to use the star forward in tonight's friendly with Qatar as well as Tuesday's World Cup qualifier against Luxembourg.

Santos said: "He [Ronaldo] will go to the game [against Qatar] because he needs playing time. It’s important to him at this stage.

"The last full game he played was in the Champions League [against Villarreal on September 29].

"If he only plays against Luxembourg, he will have practically 15 days without playing with intensity.

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"At this point I will say that there are strong possibilities of Ronaldo going to the game against Qatar, either starting or coming on later during the second half, so that the competitive rhythms are at their maximum against Luxembourg."

Solskjaer received substantial criticism over his decision not to start Ronaldo against Everton.

The Portugal international didn't seem pleased either as he stormed towards the tunnel in frustration after the full-time whistle.

Even legendary United manager Sir Alex Ferguson appeared to disagree during a chat with UFC superstar Khabib Nurmagomedov as was heard saying, "you should always start with your best player".

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