The Seleccao coach insists he trusts Ronaldo “100 per cent as an athlete and a man” after prosecutors in Madrid filed a complaint against the Real Madrid superstar, in which they accuse the 32-year-old of a “voluntary” and “conscious” evasion of tax, totalling €14.7million.
It’s alleged Ronaldo committed four crimes between 2011 and 2014.
Ronaldo is now reportedly ready to leave the back-to-back Champions League winners and Spanish champions.
According to Santos, who worked with Ronaldo both as a youngster with Sporting Lisbon and now on the international stage, the former Manchester United star’s character shouldn’t be questioned.
“I’ve known him for many years,” he told a press conference ahead of Portugal’s Confederations Cup opener against Mexico on Sunday..
“I was his last coach in Portugal when he was 18 years old. I can put my hands on the fire for his character and integrity, as a man and an athlete. That’s my clear statement. I trust him 100 per cent as an athlete and as a man.”
Santos was pressed on the subject of Ronaldo further but declared: “I’m sure you want to ask the same questions but I will answer no more questions about Cristiano Ronaldo.
“I have a pact with my players, I have a great relationship with each of them. We’ve laid down that everything to do with their personal relationships is done outside the team.
“When we’re focused on a tournament, all those other issues, we don’t pay attention to. So you have to pay attention to what the sources are for this information. I never heard about some of the news being spread. Either I am deaf, and I’m not, everyone knows I’m a great listener, or you have to be careful about where this news comes from.
“Cristiano supports every single player in the team and we have a great relationship. There are no individuals. Each player supports the other.”