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Fans assert vehemently that Portugal’s decision to omit the 28-year-old from the starting XI for their World Cup match is because they don’t want him to surpass Cristiano Ronaldo.

Fans are making assumptions about Bruno Fernandes being dropped for Portugal’s FIFA World Cup clash with South Korea as they believe he will outshine Cristiano Ronaldo.

Fernandes, 28, has been in red-hot form, scoring two goals and providing two assists in as many appearances thus far.

He scored a bizarre goal in Selecao das Quinas’ 2-0 win over Uruguay in which it appeared that Ronaldo had headed the ball. However, FIFA deemed Fernandes the goalscorer despite Ronaldo wheeling away in celebration.

There was speculation over the legendary forward’s availability for the fixture against the South Koreans on December 2. Portugal boss Fernando Santos had described his potential availability for the encounter as 50/50 after he missed training.

However, the iconic forward has now made the starting XI for the game and will be eager to get back among the goals. The 37-year-old has notched one goal in two appearances thus far as Portugal have sealed qualification to the last 16.

Meanwhile, Diogo Costa starts in goal, with Diogo Dalot, Antonio Silva, Pepe, and Joao Cancelo in defense. Ruben Neves, Vitinha, and Matheus Nunes have been chosen in midfield. Ronaldo will be joined in the attack by Joao Mario and Ricardo Horta.

Portugal have already qualified for the last 16 of the FIFA World Cup but could become the first side to win all of their group games.

All eyes are on how Santos’ side fares without Fernandes, who has been a standout performer. Many of his supporters have suggested that he has been benched so that Ronaldo can assume the role of the nation’s protagonist.

Here are some reactions from fans on Twitter to Santos’ intriguing lineup:

@ER1K10HAG @TheEuropeanLad They had to take Bruno out the team to increase Ronaldo’s chance of scoring 😭😭




@yaecia1 @TheEuropeanLad They’re already through guess cristiano is there for the statpad

@TheEuropeanLad Lol this country is against Bruno.. they don’t want him to outshine Ronaldo again 😂





Ronaldo😂😂😂😂 wants to get another goal so hes forcing to start to catch messi

Jesus, cr7 always demands to play😅😭😭

Cristiano Ronaldo is eyeing Portuguese icon Eusebio’s FIFA World Cup goalscoring record

The Portuguese is one goal shy of Eusebio's record
The Portuguese is one goal shy of Eusebio’s record

Cristiano Ronaldo, meanwhile, has his sights set on becoming Portugal’s all-time leading goalscorer in the FIFA World Cup competition.

The former United striker trails Portuguese great Eusebio by just one goal, with the Benfica legend managing nine goals in the 1966 FIFA World Cup.

Ronaldo said before the tournament in Qatar:

“It’s a good challenge, I respect Eusebio, it’s something that all the Portguese keep in their heart. He’s an unbelievable person but if you have the opportunity, if you have the chance, I think Eusebio will be happy (smiles).”

CR7 a um golo de Eusébio 🇵🇹

View image on Twitter

The Navigators skipper has bagged eight goals in five World Cup tournaments so far.

The iconic striker became the first player in history to score in five separate World Cup tournaments when he struck a penalty in Portugal’s 3-2 win over Ghana. He has scored in the 2006, 2010, 2014, 2018, and 2022 editions of the FIFA World Cup.

The Portuguese forward thought he had equaled Eusebio’s record when he claimed Fernandes’ goal in the side’s win over Uruguay on November 28. However, FIFA ruled that the former Real Madrid man’s head did not touch the ball that curled past Uruguay goalkeeper Sergio Rochet.

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