Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at the Portugal football team for "wasting" Cristiano Ronaldo at the recent FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar.
Ronaldo-led Portugal were knocked out in the quarterfinals of the tournament after a shock defeat against Morocco. Ronaldo endured a difficult time at the marquee event, scoring just once.
Lack of scoring form saw Ronaldo starting from the bench in Portugal's last-two knockout games.
"They have wasted Ronaldo. Unfortunately, they have imposed a political ban on him," Erdogan was quoted as saying by Al Jazeera. "Ronaldo is someone who stands for the Palestinian cause."
The Al Jazeera report also claimed that "Ronaldo has never issued any public statements on the Israel-Palestine conflict."
Erdogan was also quoted as saying by Spanish publication Marca that, "Sending a footballer like Ronaldo onto the field with only 30 minutes left in the game ruined his psychology and sapped his energy."
Even before the tournament began, Ronaldo was in the news for the wrong reasons after he was released by Manchester United following his controversial interview with Piers Morgan in which he spoke against club manager Eric ten Hag.
The 37-year-old is now being linked with a move to Saudi Arabian club Al Nassr on a two-year deal worth a reported 200 million Euros per year.
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