According to reports, Portugal’s World Cup stars feel ‘liberated’ without Cristiano Ronaldo and understand that the former Manchester United star is no longer the player he once was. Ronaldo has struggled to avoid negative attention in Qatar, and he was benched for Portugal’s 6-1 thrashing of Switzerland in the last-16..
Portugal produced one of the tournament’s best team performances without the veteran forward. To make matters worse for Ronaldo, his replacement, Goncalo Ramos, scored a hat-trick.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner has had a difficult fall in recent months. Ronaldo was relegated to a substitute role at Old Trafford after being overlooked by new United manager Erik ten Hag..
Ronaldo has since departed the Red Devils over a fiery interview in which he attacked key individuals at the club. His situation with his national team has almost mirrored his clue woes, with boss Fernando Santos using the 37-year-old as a substitute for the big win over Switzerland..
According to the Independent, Portugal’s players have felt freer when Ronaldo has not been on the pitch. While most of them idolise the Real Madrid icon, they understand that the veteran is no longer the player he was in his prime..
Ronaldo’s old United colleague Bruno Fernandes is apparently one of the players to experience the benefits of not having the striker in the team. Fernandes has more space ahead of him and that was exemplified last week..
On the other hand, Ronaldo’s demise appears to have increased belief in opposing team locker rooms. After all, there is less of a chance that Ronaldo will score one of the game-changing goals that he has so frequently done throughout his career.
Santos is unlikely to recall the national team captain to the starting lineup for the quarter-final match against Morocco. According to reports, the free agent, who has been linked with a move to Saudi Arabia, was demoted to the bench after criticizing Santos after being substituted against South Korea in the group stage..
Santos has worked to mend fences with Ronaldo, who was forced to watch as Ramos, a talented 21-year-old striker, scored a hat-trick in his absence. “He has never expressed a desire to leave our national team.” “It’s past time to put an end to this debate and controversies,” Portugal manager Fernando Santos said on Friday.
“It’s long past time for you to leave Ronaldo alone in recognition of what he’s done for Portuguese football..
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