Cristiano Ronaldo will return to the fold for Portugal in 2019, hoping to help the side to the first UEFA Nations League Final.
Ronaldo, 33, sat out Portugal’s six post-World Cup matches as Fernando Santos’ Seleção das Quinas went 3W-3D in six matches versus Italy, Poland, Croatia, and Scotland.
[ RECAP: Everton 0-1 Leicester City ]
But he’s settled with his new club Juventus and ready to return to Santos’ side.
“It was agreed that I would not be in the games of the first half of the season,” he said, translated by BeIn Sport. “I am 33 years old, I had just moved from country to country, working methods, team-mates, professional and personal routines.”
It was a great year for Ronaldo off the field, with a third-straight Champions League win at Real Madrid before a World Cup Round of 16 exit yielded to a big money move to Serie A. Ronaldo has 15 goals and 8 assists in 24 appearances for Juventus.
But a lawsuit from American woman Kathryn Mayorga brought to light 2009 rape allegations and a settlement and non-disclosure agreement between the alleged victim and attacker.
Ronaldo has consistently denied the allegations, and used a Monday interview in his home nation of Portugal to express expectations that he’d soon be cleared of any wrongdoing in the matter. Der Spiegel claimed Ronaldo-signed documents admitting that Mayorga said “no” multiple times during an incident he claims was consensual.