It seems unlikely that the national team captain will be drafted back into the starting 11 by Santos for the quarter-final clash with Morocco. Reports suggested that the free agent, who has been linked with a move to Saudi Arabia, was relegated to the bench after hitting out at Santos following his substitution against South Korea in the group stage.
Santos has played down a rift with Ronaldo, who was forced to watch on as talented 21-year-old striker Ramos scored a hat-trick in his place. “He has never told me that he wanted to leave our national team. It’s high time we stop with this conversation, stop the controversies,” the Portugal manager said on Friday.
“It’s high time for you to leave Ronaldo alone, in acknowledgement for what he’s done for Portuguese football.”