Cristiano Ronaldo benched against Switzerland in Round of 16 clash
Cristiano Ronaldo will not start the last 16 match against Switzerland on Tuesday. This comes on the heels of recent reports that Portugal coach Fernando Santos was not happy with Ronaldo’s gestures after being subbed off against South Korea in their last group match. Pepe will captain the side tonight.
Last Friday in Portugal’s defeat to South Korea, Ronaldo was withdrawn midway through the second half. While going out, he had put an index finger to his lips as and later said he was irked by the opposition striker Cho Gue-sung for asking him to speed up his exit.
“What happened was before my substitution, the South Korea player told me to get off quickly. I told him to shut up as he doesn’t have that authority. There was no disagreement (with the coach),” Ronaldo was quoted as saying by Portuguese reporters.
“Yes, I did not like it, not at all. I really did not like it and from that moment on that issue is finished,” Santos had said when asked about his comments on the situation during a pre-match press conference on Monday.
The coach also refused to comment on speculation back home about whether Ronaldo would feature in his lineup against the Swiss on Tuesday, would start on the bench or if he would skipper the side.
“I only decide who is going to be captain when I reach the stadium,” Santos said. “I still don’t know what the lineup will be. That’s what I’ve always done and that’s what I’m always going to do and it’s going to be the same tomorrow. The other topic is solved. We have fixed that in-house and that’s it.”