Cristiano Ronaldo was benched during Portugal’s round of 16 game against Switzerland for his refusal to train with Portugal substitutes.
The global football star Cristiano Ronaldo has reportedly been absent from the Portuguese team’s latest World Cup training session, Spanish news outlet Marca indicated.
Cristiano has refused to join Portugal’s substitutes in their training session, and insisted on training with the team’s starters, Marca reported.
The European team on Tuesday qualified for the World Cup’s quarter-finals after beating Switzerland 6-1. Portugal is now set to lock horns with Morocco’s Atlas Lions on Saturday.
Cristiano spent most of Portugal’s match against Switzerland on the bench, stunning the football legend’s fans.
Portugal’s head coach Fernando Santos decided to drop Ronaldo from his starting 11, sending fans and international media into a huge shock.
Cristiano’s replacement Goncalo Ramos ended up scoring an epic hat-trick, helping his team seal its ticket to the World Cup quarter-finals.
“On the day after qualifying for the quarter-finals, Coach Fernando Santos organized a training session on the pitch with the players who started on the bench against Switzerland … but Cristiano was not among them,” Marca reported.
Portugal’s captain has always been a starter in his national team’s major games. The last time Cristiano did not start in a major tournament dates back to 2008.
Despite dropping his team’s long-standing star on Tuesday night, Santos said that he still has a “close relationship” with Ronaldo, TalkSport reported.
“Ronaldo and I never misinterpret the human and personal aspect with that of manager and player,” Portugal’s coach explained.