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Portugal stars ‘unhappy’ with who’s in Cristiano Ronaldo’s entourage as new issue emerges

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Portugal’s World Cup squad are reportedly frustrated that Cristiano Ronaldo’s personal manager Ricardo ‘Ricky’ Regufe has formed part of their entourage during the tournament.

It has been claimed that Ronaldo’s teammates are unhappy with being told they were not allowed to bring any guests to the tournament, but their captain’s confidant has been afforded such close proximity to the squad in Qatar.

The report comes after the 37-year-old was surprisingly dropped for the Round of 16 victory against Switzerland. That preceded suggestions that Ronaldo threatened to storm out of the World Cup entirely over the decision although those have now been rebuffed by the superstar and his boss.

Ronaldo was replaced by Goncalo Ramos for the knockout match and the Benfica striker subsequently bagged a hat-trick to cement his place in the side ahead of Saturday’s quarter-final clash against Morocco, who defeated Spain on penalties in the Round of 16.

Portuguese media outlet Record has now alleged that Ronaldo’s Portugal teammates are not happy with the arrangement that has seen Regufe form part of their group at the tournament in Qatar and having access to facilities and hospitality reserved for the players.

Regufe has formed a close relationship with Ronaldo over the course of nearly two years, often seen celebrating with the striker on the pitch after a trophy victory and usually embracing the player. He is believed to be a close confidant and adviser for Ronaldo, despite a relatively low profile.

Regufe often joins Ronaldo in the on-pitch celebrations after winning trophies

Regufe often joins Ronaldo in the on-pitch celebrations after winning trophies© Alexander Hassenstein – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images

Have Your Say! Are Portugal a stronger team without Ronaldo in the line-up? Tell us what you think here.

Regufe, six years Ronaldo’s senior, hung up his boots as a footballer aged 21 to pursue a career in sports marketing before going on to work for Nike. Regufe played a key role for a teenage Ronaldo, in 2003 and still at Sporting CP, signing a lucrative deal with the sports manufacturer which has become ever more notable over the years.

His relationship with Ronaldo and with the subsequent accreditation afforded to him, he has often been spotted on the sidelines at Portugal matches. However, other players in the squad are now reported to believe Regufe has gained ‘excessive influence’ and that this is causing friction.

Ronaldo spent time celebrating specifically with Regufe after Portugal won Euro 2016 in Paris

Ronaldo spent time celebrating specifically with Regufe after Portugal won Euro 2016 in Paris© Eric Verhoeven/Soccrates/Getty Images

Many of the players are said to be unhappy with the arrangement as they have not been properly informed of why Regufe is allowed to share such close proximity to them throughout the tournament, including on matchdays.

This feeling is said to have been heightened by Portugal players being specifically informed that nobody would be able to bring guests along with them to the tournament with a feeling that Ronaldo has been afforded special treatment, which is unfair.

Source:The Mirror

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