In a sight which is becoming too familiar, Cristiano Ronaldo was seen walking off the pitch, after the final whistle blew cementing Portugal’s 6-1 victory over Switzerland. The Portuguese captain who was recently released from Manchester United and has reportedly signed for Saudi Arabia side, Al-Nassr FC, was dropped by coach Fernando Santos.
Making matters worse for Ronaldo, his replacement, Goncalo Ramos scored a hat-trick, while the 37-year-old was benched for the first time since Euro 2008. In a recent viral video, Portuguese players can be seen celebrating and applauding the fans, while Ronaldo was spotted slowly making his way across the pitch and towards the tunnel.
To no surprise to anyone, Ronaldo’s non-start was a matter of discussion amongst pundits. According to Jamie Carragher of Sky, Ronaldo was dropped as a result of his poor performance in the tournament so far, having scored only through a penalty in a win over Ghana. Ronaldo was included in Sofascore’s worst team of the group stage ratings, scoring an average of just 6.37 in three matches.
The drama seems to be following the ex-Real Madrid player everywhere, with reports claiming that coach Santos and he exchanged words after a match against South Korea, as Santos didn’t like the player’s reaction after being taken off in the 2-1 defeat. Post which, Ronaldo was left out of the side’s starting XI.
However, Santos continues to claim that the forward was dropped for tactical reasons, adding, “There is no problem with our captain. We’ve been friends for years. We spoke before the game and he had no issue with my decision.”
However, there are users on the micro-blogging site claiming that Ronaldo did indeed applaud the fans before heading down.
Image credits: Twitter, Manchester Unites, Portugal National Team