Date: 28th September 2022 at 11:10am
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Portugal slumped to defeat to rivals Spain on Tuesday, with a late Alvaro Morata goal giving the visitors all three points in Braga.

The ex-Chelsea striker scored in the 88th minute to send his country through to the Nations League finals, while Portugal and Cristiano Ronaldo were left to rue missed opportunities.

Manchester United forward Ronaldo squandered chances to send Portugal through, meaning the winners of the inaugural competition in 2018/19 will go no further this time around.

For Ronaldo, it was yet another frustrating performance in a string of disappointing displays for both club and country.

The 37-year-old has netted just once this season – against Sheriff in the Europa League – and has started just one of United’s six league matches so far this term.

Red Devils boss Erik ten Hag has previously claimed that Ronaldo’s lack of game time is due to the fact that he missed much of pre-season.

Back in July, the Portuguese failed to report for pre-season training due to ‘personal reasons’, just days after he allegedly told the club of his desire to leave, as reported by The Daily Mail at the time.

The former Real Madrid man was linked with a number of clubs over the summer, including Chelsea and Atletico Madrid, but he ultimately stayed put in Manchester.

The star’s contract is set to expire next summer, although it has been rumoured that there is an option to extend it by a further 12 months.

The only goal Ronaldo has scored this season is a penalty against Sheriff

One other option that was rumoured to be available to him was a move to the Middle East to join an unnamed Saudi Arabian club, and now Al Hilal have claimed that they were in talks with the player.

Speaking to the Thamanya YouTube channel, the club’s president Fahad ben Nafel revealed that they were in negotiations with the multiple Ballon d’Or winner.

“Yes, we negotiated with Ronaldo,” he said.

“The problem was not in the money or the principle, Al-Hilal is able to bring in the stars of the world, but it was in the decision of the Sports Arbitration Centre that prevented us from registering the players.

“We did not stop negotiating with the players despite the decision to ban, but we were delaying entering the final stage of the negotiations until the ban was lifted.”

Over the summer, it was suggested that the forward had received a lucrative offer from an unnamed Saudi Club that would likely make him the world’s highest paid player, although it remains unknown whether or not that offer was from Al Hilal or, indeed, if it was even tabled.

Despite struggling this season, Ronaldo was still in sensational form last term on his return to the Premier League, netting 24 goals in 38 appearances across all competitions.

That tally included 18 league goals for the player following his sensational return to Old Trafford, 12 years after leaving the club for what was a world record fee at the time.

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