REVEALED: Cristiano Ronaldo causing MORE friction in Portugal’s World Cup camp, with team-mates ‘questioning why his personal manager – who has excessive influence – is part of their entourage’
Cristiano Ronaldo’s friction with Portugal has grown even more tense with his team-mates reportedly questioning why his personal manager – Ricky Regufe – has formed part of their entourage at the World Cup.
Ronaldo has found himself under fire in Qatar after his poor personal performance for his country before sulking after being subbed off during a 2-1 loss to South Korea in the group stages – which earned the wrath of his manager Fernando Santos.
He is then said to have threatened to quit their World Cup camp when he learned he would be benched for the last-16 clash against Switzerland – claims Portugal deny – which saw his replacement Goncalo Ramos netted a hat-trick in a 6-1 win.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal team-mates are reportedly growing uneasy about the presence of his personal manager Ricky Regufe
Regufe – second left – has been a close associate of the legendary forward’s since 2018
Regufe started off as a marketing chief for Nike before forging a friendship with Ronaldo
Ronaldo is also reported to have failed to train with the substitutes from that game and instead undergone a low-intensity session with the starters – despite only coming on for 20 minutes.
Now – in further damanging reports about Ronaldo’s rift with the squad – Portuguese outlet Record claim that the team are growing uneasy about the presence of Regufe, who is believed to have ‘excessive influence’ after becoming Ronaldo’s personal manager in 2018.
A number of players ‘do not understand the reason’ for him joining up with the squad, with Regufe said to be sharing spaces designated for players, with some questioning why he is always in close proximity with the team – including during match-days.
Ronaldo has endured a turbulent camp at the World Cup and has irked his manager Fernando Santos over his attitude
Another reason for their frustration, the report goes on, is that no other players have been permitted to take guests with them to Portugal’s World Cup camp.
Regufe was formerly a leading marketing manager for Nike and was a big influence in ensuring Ronaldo formed close ties with the sportswear giant following their meeting in 2003 when the player was at Sporting Lisbon – convincing him to sign a boot deal with them.
He would become a huge part of the furniture around Ronaldo’s life and has often been pictured at dinner parties, events and at football games with the iconic footballer.