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FRIDAY, JANUARY 27, 2006
Big Phil backs Ronaldo
PORTUGAL coach Luiz Felipe Scolari has given his backing to Manchester United winger Cristiano Ronaldo despite an inconsistent
season so far.
Scolari, who plans to include the 20-year-old in his squad for the World Cup this summer, insists he is attaching no importance
to Ronaldo's current form in the Barclays Premiership, where his growing frustration has led to disciplinary problems.
The former Sporting Lisbon player will return to the United squad this weekend after completing a three-match ban for the
red card he received for a reckless lunge on Andy Cole during the Manchester derby on January 14.
This week, he was charged with misconduct by UEFA following gestures made at the crowd in Benfica as United crashed out of
the Champions League at the group stage for the first time since 1994.
"(Ronaldo) is in a situation that many others have gone through," Scolari told Portuguese sports newspaper Record.
"The ball doesn't go in, things don't go well but he is being helped by his coaches. I have spoken to (United's Portuguese
assistant manager) Carlos Queiroz and I'm not worried."