World Cup 2022: Cristiano Ronaldo Benched for Crunch Portugal vs Switzerland Game

World Cup 2022: Cristiano Ronaldo Benched for Crunch Portugal vs Switzerland Game

  • Cristiano Ronaldo was snubbed from the Portugal starting XI against Switzerland
  • There were reports Selecao boss Fernando Santos was annoyed with his superstar
  • The 37-year-old courted controversy after being subbed off against South Korea

Cristiano Ronaldo has been left on the bench for Portugal’s crucial Round of 16 clash against Switzerland, in the biggest team news of the day.

The new development came on the heels of reports that Portugal manager Fernando Santos was displeased with Ronaldo, after his gesture during the defeat to South Korea several days ago.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal, World Cup, Switzerland
Cristiano Ronaldo arrives at the stadium prior to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Round of 16 match between Portugal and Switzerland. Photo by Mike Hewitt.
Source: Getty Images

On Friday, the superstar was withdrawn midway through the second half and while walking off, he put his index finger in his mouth as if gesturing to someone to 'shut up'.

The former Manchester United man went on to claim afterwards that he was addressing a South Korea player who offended him.

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In a pre-match press conference, the Portugal boss addressed the situation head-on, saying:

“Yes, I did not like it, not at all. I really did not like it and from that moment on that issue is finished,”

Here is the full Portugal line-up against Switzerland:

Diogo Costa, Diogo Dalot, Pepe, Ruben Dias, Raphael Guererro, William Carvalho, Otavio, Bruno Fernandes, Bernardo Silva, Joao Felix, Joncalo Ramos.

How the game went

As far as the game went, Portugal were too good for Switzerland in the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo.

Selecao ran out comfortable 6-1 winners thanks to a hat trick from Goncalo Guedes as well as strikes from Raphael Guerreiro and Rafael Leao.

Ronaldo was brought on late in the game, but he did not have much impact as the game had already been won.

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Following the win, Portugal set up a quarter-final clash with Morocco, who secured a stunning win over Spain in the Round of 16 via a penalty shootout.

Ronaldo's sister slams decision to bench him

Sports Brief also reported on Cristiano Ronaldo's sister's reaction to the superstar being benched.

Among the people who were extremely surprised by Ronaldo’s omission from the squad was Elma, who took to social media to express her bemusement.

“It is a shame to humiliate a man who has given so much, but later I will see a lot more.” She said.