Cristiano Ronaldo ‘dropped’ vs Switzerland after riling Portugal boss with World Cup strop | Football | Sport


Cristiano Ronaldo has been dropped to the bench against Switzerland after irking Portugal manager Fernando Santos with his reaction while coming off against South Korea. The forward’s absence will come as a shock to many with Portugal’s talented stars gunning for their first-ever World Cup final. 

Ronaldo had started each of Portugal’s three World Cup matches so far in Qatar, scoring once from the penalty spot against Ghana. He also claimed to have got on the scoresheet against Uruguay but closer inspection revealed that he failed to get a touch on Bruno Fernandes’ cross, which sailed straight into the net. 

The former Manchester United star annoyed Santos in the Group H defeat to South Korea as he threw a trademark tantrum while coming off the pitch. Ronaldo later explained that it was because opponent Cho Gue-sung told him to get a move on, but the Portugal boss later conceded that he was not pleased with the behaviour. 

Just a matter of days later, Santos took the decision to bench him for the Round of 16 clash against Switzerland, with Goncalo Ramos coming in to take his place. 

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“Have I seen the images [of Ronaldo while being substituted]? Yes, I didn’t like it, not at all,” admitted Santos this week. “I didn’t like it. I really didn’t like it. But from that moment onwards everything is finished regarding that issue. These matters are resolved behind closed doors. It’s resolved. Full stop on this matter and now everyone is focused on tomorrow’s match.”

Speculation surrounding Ronaldo potentially being dropped sprung up shortly afterwards when he skirted around the question of whether he would keep hold of the captain’s armband. “I only decide who is going to be captain when I reach the stadium,” explained Santos.

“I still don’t know what the line-up will be. That’s what I’ve always done and that’s what I’m always going to do and it’s going to be the same tomorrow. The other topic is solved. We have fixed that in-house and that’s it.”

Ronaldo supposedly asked to leave Man Utd during the summer but ended up staying put after a lack of interest from Champions League teams. Now unattached, the veteran forward looks set to join Saudi Arabian club Al-Nassr with a huge contract offer on the table. 

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