Cristiano Ronaldo refused to train with Portugal substitutes and insisted he work in the gym with the first team after their 6-1 win over Switzerland at the FIFA World Cup.
Ronaldo, 37, was dropped to the bench for the first time during Fernando Santos’ side’s campaign in Qatar.
He came on in the second half of the 6-1 blitz of the Swiss on Tuesday, 6 December for around 15 minutes.
Given that he did not start the game or play most of the fixture, he should have spent time with the substitutes today (7 December).
However, the former Manchester United attacker attended a gym session with teammates that started the win over Nati, per Marca.
The Portuguese camp are said to have been surprised when Ronaldo didn’t appear with his fellow subs as anticipated.
He did not carry a knock, and there was no reason for him to be doing gym work.
The iconic forward started all three of Portugal’s group-stage fixtures, scoring one goal.
However, a lack of form has plagued Cristiano Ronaldo’s tournament thus far, and his frustrations got the better of him in a 2-1 defeat to South Korea.
He came off the pitch angrily when substituted by Santos, appearing to say that the Portuguese coach couldn’t wait to take him off.
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Cristiano Ronaldo might not be playing, but he is still the centre of everything
Santos’ decision to drop Ronaldo ended a run of 31 matches that the Portuguese legend had started at major international tournaments since Euro 2008.
The former Real Madrid attacker’s replacement, Goncalo Ramos, scored a memorable hat-trick in the victory over Switzerland.
Pepe, Raphael Guerreiro, and Rafael Leao were also on the scoresheet for Santos’ side.
Portugal next face Morocco in the quarterfinals on Saturday, 10 December.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s girlfriend hits out at the legendary forward starting on the bench
Cristiano Ronaldo’s girlfriend, Georgina Rodriguez, was less than impressed by Santos’ decision to name her boyfriend on the substitutes bench.
The Argentinian model congratulated Selecao on advancing to the last 16 but made her feelings clear over Ronaldo’s omission.
She posted on Instagram:
“Congratulations Portugal! While the 11 players sang the anthem all targets on you. What a shame we didn’t get to enjoy the best player in the world for the 90 minutes. The fans haven’t stopped claiming you and screaming your name.”
All eyes were on the five-time Ballon d’Or winner after he was snubbed from Portugal’s starting lineup.
Supporters at the Lusail Stadium could be heard screaming his name before he entered the field of play in the 73rd minute.
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