Pepe Defends CR7 After Confed Cup Exit
Pepe Defends Cristiano Ronaldo After FIFA Confederations Cup Exit
Defender Pepe has backed Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo after Portugal's FIFA Confederations Cup semi-final loss to Chile.
Many have criticised the 32-year-old for not making himself available for his country's third/fourth place play-off against Mexico on Sunday, but Pepe has leaped to the forward's defence.
The centre back feels it is important that Ronaldo spends time with his new-born twins, who were revealed to the world after Portugal's loss to Chile.
"Cristiano is our captain," he said, according to Marca.
"He sacrificed himself to be here with us and gave his all to help Portugal. Unfortunately, we could not reach the final, which was what we all wanted.
"Being a father is a blessing from God. As a father, I feel happy for him. It is one of the most beautiful things in life; to be able to educate a child and guide them in their first steps.
"I'm happy because he was here until the last moment and I thank the president and the national team who gave him the opportunity to be with his children who were born a few weeks ago.
"We are happy for him. I already knew about it, although there were several colleagues who did not."
Ronaldo scored twice at the Confederations Cup, goals that helped him become Europe's second highest all-timescorer in internationals.
Do you think Ronaldo deserves time off with his family now that Portugal are out of contention for the Confed Cup trophy? Let us know in the comments section below.