Ron­aldo heads home early

Por­tu­gal player al­lowed to leave to see chil­dren

The National - News - Sport - - LEADING OFF -

Por­tu­gal cap­tain Cris­tiano Ron­aldo said will not play in the Con­fed­er­a­tions Cup third­place match this week­end as he will fi­nally meet his new­born twin boys. Hours af­ter Wed­nes­day’s 3-0 de­feat to Chile in a penalty shoot-out in Kazan, Ron­aldo said he had been given per­mis­sion to miss the play-off in Moscow, against ei­ther Germany or Mex­ico, to meet his new arrivals.

Ron­aldo, 32, is be­lieved to have fa­thered the twins with a sur­ro­gate mother in the United States. He al­ready has a seven-year-old son, Cris­tiano Ron­aldo Jr, from a pre­vi­ous re­la­tion­ship.

The Real Madrid for­ward said he gave his “body and soul” for Por­tu­gal in the semi-fi­nal, which fin­ished goal­less af­ter ex­tra time, “even though my two sons were born”.

“The Pres­i­dent of the Por­tuguese Foot­ball Fed­er­a­tion and the na­tional coach have an at­ti­tude that has touched me and I will not for­get,” the four-time world player of the year wrote on his of­fi­cial Face­book page.

“I’m very happy to fi­nally be with my chil­dren for the first time.” Hav­ing won man-of-the­match awards in each of Por­tu­gal’s three Con­fed­er­a­tions Cup group stage games, Ron­aldo did not have his best match against Chile, whose de­fence man­aged to sub­due the Madrid star.

As well as meet­ing his new­born ba­bies, Ron­aldo faces an un­cer­tain fu­ture hav­ing threat­ened to quit Spain as he faces al­le­ga­tions of tax eva­sion in a court in Madrid next month.

Pavel Golovkin / AP Photo

Por­tu­gal’s Cris­tiano Ron­aldo.

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