Portuguese publication A Bola called for the 37-year-old to be dropped from Portugal's starting XI ahead of their Nations League group decider against Spain, using the headline 'Less Ronaldo, More Portugal' in their paper.
The report also claimed Ronaldo 'is losing influence in the selection', a piece of analysis that came just days after he notched an assist for his country in their 4-0 win against Czech Republic in Prague.
Ronaldo has lost his powers and its pretty acceptable at the age of 37— CR7 Rap Rhymes (@cr7raprhymes) September 27, 2022
We have to accept he's not the same guy anymore but for all those amazing moments he gave us during his prime years, we must not leave him alone during his last years. Always with you Cristiano 🐐🙏 pic.twitter.com/MKwYayqjMX
But some of the Portuguese press clearly feel he does not deserve to start with the Qatar World Cup in sight.
There is absolutely zero explanation for Cristiano Ronaldo to still be a starter for Portugal in 2022. Not when there's Rafael Leão, Pedro Neto, João Félix and so many other talented players waiting in the wings. Another anonymous performance from him today.— Zach Lowy (@ZachLowy) September 27, 2022
With those critics in mind, Ronaldo's sister, Katia Aveiro, has leapt to the defence of United's number 7 with a scathing rant towards "the Portuguese", labelling them "sick, petty and stupid" in an astonishing Instagram post.
“He has his family and those who love him by his side. They will always be by his side, no matter what," she wrote. "But the current times don’t surprise me at all. The Portuguese spit on the plate they eat [from], it has always been that way.
“That’s why when someone appears from the ashes and changes mentalities, it bothers… With you always, my king. Calm down.
“It is necessary to give a hand to those who have always given theirs to Portugal. But the Portuguese are sick, petty, soulless, stupid, ungrateful and forever ungrateful. This guy who’s sitting, he’s on his knees… There’s no one to give him a hand.
“It is cruel. And it was already so much, but so much that he gave and gives. The one sitting is called Cristiano Ronaldo and he is just the best player in the world.”
“At this point, Cristiano should love himself, do himself a favour and understand that, if he cannot reach a level, he must end his career," Cassano told the Muschio Selvaggio podcast:
"He has won everything, he has been a phenomenon. Now it’s time to retire.
“I have a lot of respect for CR7, but I don’t like him as a player. [Lionel] Messi is like [Diego] Maradona. He had to leave Argentina at the age of 14 and face serious physical problems, which speaks of sacrifices.”
🇵🇹Portugal— N∆HUEL 🇦🇷 ☆ 𓃵 (@RealGOA7) September 22, 2022
Qualified 3/17 World Cups
Qualified 3/11 Euros
Qualified 5/5 World Cups
Qualified 5/5 Euros
World Cup & Euros Qualifiers
More games? YES, that is called GOAT Longevity & Professionalism pic.twitter.com/uL9Kaf18wF
Thoughts on Ronaldo's form at present? Does he deserve a place in Portugal's starting XI?
Let us know in the comments.
Featured Image Credit: Alamy/Instagram - @katiaaveirooficial
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