Ronaldo announces Portugal return; Expects to be cleared in rape case

Nicholas Mendola
NBC Sports

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.

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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 admitted that Mayorga said “no” multiple times during an incident he claims was consensual.

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