5th December, 2022
Cristiano Ronaldo may be given a limited role in the Portuguese team after manager Fernando Santos admitted he was not happy with the forward’s sulky reaction to being substituted against South Korea.
The Portuguese booked their place in the last 16 of the World Cup with a game to spare but fell to a 2-1 loss in their final group game which saw Ronaldo assist South Korea’s equalizer by turning his back while defending a corner.
Ronaldo didn’t cover himself in glory in his 65-minute cameo and was hooked for Andre Silva.
The 37-year-old reacted angrily to the substitution, putting an index finger to his lips as he left the field.
Ahead of Portugal’s round of 16 clash with Switzerland on Tuesday, Santos said: “Have I seen the images?
“Yes, I didn’t like it, not at all. 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.”
Five-time Ballon d’Or winner Ronaldo hasn’t had the best of World Cup campaigns. He has just one goal at the tournament, with the goal coming from the penalty spot in the 3-2 win over Ghana.
Ronaldo is also yet to score a knockout goal and has been surpassed by rival Lionel Messi and 23-year-old Kylian Mbappe with World Cup finals goals.
However, Santos has refused to guarantee that Ronaldo will start against the Swiss.
He added: “I only decide who is going to be captain when I reach the stadium.
“I still don’t know what the lineup 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.”