Ronaldo, Osimhen To Miss The Portugal Vs Nigeria International Friendly.

Portugal head coach Fernando Santos has confirmed that Cristiano Ronaldo will not play in the friendly match with Nigeria after pulling out of training with a stomach bug.

The Manchester United forward did not participate in sessions with the national team ahead of Thursday’s international friendly with the Super Eagles of Nigeria.

Ronaldo has dominated the news and social media after his explosive interview with Piers Morgan before linking up with Portugal squad for the World Cup.

He appeared to get a frosty welcome at the training ground from United team-mate Bruno Fernandes.

The 37-year-old now faces an uncertain future at United after he publicly lashed out at the Man United hierarchy, manager Erik ten Hag and former teammates Wayne Rooney and Gary Neville.

Portugal's game against Nigeria is the first time Ronaldo will feature in a football match as he makes his fifth appearance at the World Cup in Qatar and looks set to be his final chance to win the World Cup.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner will be eager to put himself in the transfer window ahead of January after his controversial comments against his current employers.

Ronaldo would want to extend his record as the best international goalscorer in men’s football history. His current record reads 191 games and 117 goals scored, eight more than second-placed Ali Daei.

“He will not be ready for tomorrow,” said Santos in a press conference in Lisbon.

“He’s losing a lot of liquid, he’s suffering from gastroenteritis and he isn’t training. He’s in his room resting and recovering, I’m 100 per cent sure he won’t be available.”

Santos also added that Ronaldo’s interview will not be a distraction for Portugal.

“This issue isn’t related to us, it isn’t related to the national team.

“The man, the player, decided to give an interview, like other athletes and men decide to do to discuss personal matters.

“This doesn’t spill out to the national team, as far as I know, he didn’t talk about the national team, so it’s a personal interview which we need to respect.

“These days tolerance is a buzz word and we need to respect what others think and say, provided it doesn’t impact what I do.

“None of my players have made a comment regarding the interview, at all.

“Cristiano Ronaldo is a free man. The buzz and discussion around him is taking place outside the national team. It doesn’t impact us.”

Santos has enjoyed great success with Portugal, leading them to victory at Euro 2016 and the Nations League in 2019.

READ MOREPortugal Vs Nigeria International Friendly. Preview, Updates, Team News, Predicted XI...

The warm-up game with Nigeria, is on Thursday (17 November), at the 50,000  Estádio José Alvalade. 7:45pm Nigerian time.

On the other hand, the Super Eagles of Nigeria will be without in-form striker Victor Osimhen.

On Tuesday, Napoli released a statement saying that the striker had suffered an injury, a claim that was immediately refuted by an Italian publication, La Gazzetta dello Sport, which wrote that the Nigerian had no physical condition.

Osimhen was initially among the 23-man squad invited by Jose Peseiro for the mouth-watering clash against the 2016 Euro champions but on Monday the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) announced that the player had pulled out of the game due to injury and had been replaced with Cyriel Dessers, who has been out for three weeks due to injury.

The report that the 23-year-old striker had suffered an injury did not gone down well with the Nigerian fans because Osimhen was in action for the entire duration for Napoli in their 3-2 win over Udinese last weekend, with the striker scoring the first goal of the Serie A clash.

Osimhen’s presence at Napoli means Nigerians have foreseen more drama when the next Afcon comes around in January 2024, except unless the Azzurri cash in on their prized asset who has two years and a bit to run on his current deal before the finals in Ivory Coast.

READ MOREPortugal Vs Nigeria International Friendly. Preview, Updates, Team News, Predicted XI...

The current Serie A top scorer, last featured in a friendly game for Nigeria in 2019, a game against Brazil where the country played 1-1, meaning the forward has missed Nigeria’s last nine friendly games.

“Sincerely, I am wishing that this is a FIFA World Cup group stage match, because I tell you, that is the level at which Nigeria should be playing. Even though that is not the case, our objective is to go out there and win... Said Super Eagles gaffer Jose Peseiro.

“It is good that we are playing big teams. I am enamoured by that, because this is good for the team and it will sharpen the team to achieve our goal of winning the next Africa Cup of Nations. We also have the opportunity to test a number of players.”

This could be perhaps Peseiro's biggest test since resuming as Nigeria’s manager in the summer, and he wants the best possible result against his native country Portugal.

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