DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Cristiano Ronaldo has been dropped from Portugal’s starting line-up for the second straight game at the World Cup.
37-year-old Ronaldo will not play in the quarter-final against Morocco on Saturday, after he started on the bench and then came on as a substitute in the round of 16 against Switzerland.
Gonçalo Ramos, who scored a hat-trick in Portugal’s 6-1 victory over Switzerland on his first start for Portugal on Tuesday, was again selected ahead of Ronaldo.
Ronaldo is playing in his fifth and probably last World Cup.
He was left out of the lineup against the Swiss after coach Fernando Santos expressed frustration at his team captain’s attitude in the previous match.
Santos later said Ronaldo was “not happy” to be told he was on the bench, but never threatened to leave the World Cup over the decision.
Ronaldo, the all-time top scorer in international men’s football with 118 goals, finally came on as a substitute in the 74th minute. He had looked somewhat detached from the rest of the side after the match and had already shown a poor attitude after being substituted in the final group game against South Korea.
Ronaldo came off a lackluster group stage performance, though he scored in the 3–2 win against Ghana to become the first player to score in five World Cups. He has played in every edition of the tournament since 2006.
Portugal’s other starters against Morocco at the Al Thumama Stadium included João Félix, Bernardo Silva, Bruno Fernandes and Otávio.
Portugal are attempting to reach the last four for the third time, having finished third in 1966 and fourth in 2006. They had not progressed beyond the round of 16 since that tournament in Germany 16 years ago.
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