Portugal’s Olympic coach Rui Jorge has admitted that he doesn’t expect Cristiano Ronaldo to form part of his Rio 2016 squad because it would threaten his summer holiday plans.
The Real Madrid superstar seems set to join rivals Messi and Neymar in watching the tournament from home, rather than looking to add to his medal collection on the field in Brazil.
The Portuguese icon would be eligible to feature at the Olympic Games as one of three over-aged players allowed in squads for the under-23 tournament; Ronaldo’s talents would certainly make a significant impact to both viewership and his nations side of winning gold.
Ronaldo, now aged 31, will make yet another bid for an elusive international honour with Portugal next month – travelling out to France with the hopes of Fernando Santos’ Euro 2016 squad resting on his shoulders.
Rui Jorge, who will take charge of Portugal’s U23 team in Brazil, is already resigned to not having Ronaldo as part of his squad:
“We do not yet know exactly about the three players over 23, we will wait, but I don’t believe Cristiano Ronaldo will be there,
“We are not thinking about that. Of course he is one of the two best players in the world. Any club or country could use his contribution.”
The Olympic football tournament at Rio 2016 is set to run from August 3-20, clashing with the start of the La Liga should Portugal reach the final. La Liga’s 2016-17 season is set to begin on the latter date. The Portuguese boss feels that Ronaldo would be unwilling to represent his country if it meant he didn’t get to enjoy a holiday break:
“Even though the dates are not incompatible, it could produce an overload, a lack of holidays,”
So there you have it folks – Portugal’s olympic coach is resigned to not having Ronaldo in his squad because he knows he won’t play if he doesn’t get his time on the beach.