WATCH – Cristiano Ronaldo shows his true colors in reaction to Portugal’s goal after he’s dropped
After being benched from the game, Cristiano Ronaldo delivered an unexpected reaction to Portugal's opening two goals in their World Cup match against Switzerland.
Cristiano Ronaldo ran to Goncalo Ramos and then Pepe after the pair scored the first two goals in Portugal’s knockout match against Switzerland.
The 37-year-old was omitted from Portugal’s last-16 match against Switzerland at Lusail Stadium, with Ramos taking his place in the starting XI. It was a remarkable maiden World Cup start for the 21-year-old, who scored a fantastic opener in his captain’s absence.
Portugal made a strong start, taking the lead in the 19th minute through Ramos, whose left-footed shot from a tight angle found the back of the net. It was a fantastic finish by the kid, who has been in excellent form for Benfica this season, scoring 14 goals in 21 games.
However, all eyes will be on Ronaldo as his replacement scored an excellent goal, placing the former Manchester United man under even greater criticism if Portugal advances to the quarter-finals. But, instead of pouting after Ramos’ goal, Ronaldo ran over to celebrate with his young friend and the rest of the Portugal squad.
Ronaldo looked overjoyed for Ramos as he hugged him and walked back to the bench. Fernando Santos’ team continued to dominate proceedings and added a second goal on the half-hour mark through veteran Pepe, who smashed a header into the top corner, sending Portugal fans into a frenzy.
A happy Ronaldo ran over to celebrate with his former Real Madrid colleague, before touching him on the head and hugging him to congratulate him. Despite missing out on the starting lineup for one of Portugal’s most important World Cup games in recent memory, Ronaldo seemed upbeat as he took his spot on the bench.
Ronaldo’s omission was the latest source of annoyance for the star, who departed Manchester United by mutual consent last month following his contentious interview with Piers Morgan. He lambasted manager Erik ten Hag, the Glazers, and a slew of other Red Devils’ troubles, but Ronaldo’s international career could have taken damage.
Former Manchester City midfielder Nigel de Jong told ITV Sport ahead of the game: “At the World Cup, where you have a chance to advance to the next round, you sometimes have to step up and be the larger man. Regardless of your own situation, be a role model for the kids and a leader in the locker room. But it is quite difficult for him (Ronaldo). From the outside, I don’t think he can understand that he isn’t playing.”