Portugal coach Fernando Santos insists Cristiano Ronaldo remains a key figure for the national team, even though his playing time at Manchester United has been mostly limited to substitute appearances so far this season.
Ronaldo was called up to Portugal’s squad on Thursday for Nations League games against the Czech Republic on September 24 and three days later against Spain.
“I am not at all concerned about Ronaldo’s lack of playing time for Manchester United,” Santos said.
“Like any player, I have to find out what the situation is with him. But I don’t think anyone has any doubts that Ronaldo will continue to be of great importance to the national team.”
Ronaldo and his partner lost their newborn son in April, and he was released from United’s pre-season tour of Thailand and Australia in July for family reasons.
Ronaldo has only started twice for United under new boss Erik ten Hag, who repeated on Wednesday that he was counting on the 37-year-old this season.
Goalkeepers: Diogo Costa (FC Porto), Jose Sa (Wolves/ENG), Rui Patricio (Roma/ITA)
Defenders: Diogo Dalot (Manchester United/ENG), Joao Cancelo (Manchester City/ENG), Danilo Pereira (Paris Saint-Germain/FRA), Tiago Djalo (Lille/FRA), Ruben Dias (Manchester City/ENG), Pepe ( FC Porto), Nuno Mendes (Paris Saint-Germain/FRA), Raphael Guerreiro (Borussia Dortmund/GER)
Midfielders: Joao Palhinha (Fulham/ENG), Ruben Neves (Wolves/ENG), Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United/ENG), Matheus Nunes (Wolves/ENG), Vitinha (Paris Saint-Germain/FRA), William Carvalho (Real Betis /ESP), Joao Mario (Benfica)
Attackers: Rafael Leao (AC Milan/ITA), Ricardo Horta (Braga), Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United/ENG), Rafa Silva (Benfica), Bernardo Silva (Manchester City/ENG), Pedro Neto (Wolves/ENG) Diogo Jota (Liverpool/ENG), Joao Felix (Atletico Madrid/ESP).