Fernando Santos sent his side to their last-16 battle without the experienced superstar.
Bruno Fernandes admits Cristiano Ronaldo wasn’t “happy” to stay out of Portugal’s lineup in their victory over Switzerland.
Ronaldo started the game on the bench as Portugal went rampant against their last-16 opponents.
Santos replaced the five-time Ballon d’Or winner with Goncalo Ramos, who stole the show at Lusail Stadium. The 21-year-old bagged a hat-trick, helping his side reach the quarter-finals with a 6-1 win.
Fernandes admits Ronaldo was unhappy with Santos’ decision but insists CR7 is ultimately happy with the brilliant result.
“Do you think anyone likes to be on the bench? I don’t think Cristiano would be happy,” Fernandes told reporters.
“If the manager puts me on the bench in the next game, I would be angry.”
He added: “Cristiano is doing his job, he’s doing his part, he’s happy with the result because the goal for everyone is to go as far as possible.”
In the next round, Portugal will lock horns with Morocco, who snatched a sensational win over Spain on Tuesday. Let’s see if Santos will stick to his decision over keeping Ronaldo on the bench.
Having scored eight goals in his 20 World Cup appearances, Ronaldo could surpass Eusebio as Portugal’s all-time top scorer in the tournament by finding the back of the net two more times in Qatar.