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Cristiano Ronaldo surprised Portugal camp by not training with fellow substitutes

Ryan Sidle

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Cristiano Ronaldo surprised Portugal camp by not training with fellow substitutes

Cristiano Ronaldo didn't train with Portugal's other substitutes on Wednesday, following their World Cup win over Switzerland the previous day.

There was surprise on Tuesday evening when Fernando Santos finally did what needed to be done and dropped Ronaldo from his starting lineup.

It certainly did cause surprise to see the national team line up in a World Cup knockout game without the five time Ballon d'Or winner.

That decision came following Santos revealing he wasn't happy with the forward's reaction to be subbed off against South Korea in the previous game.

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Whether it was form or behaviour that ultimately led Santos to dropping the forward, who doesn't have a club after his previous bad behaviour, it certainly ended up being the correct decision.

The striker's replacement Goncalo Ramos enjoyed a World Cup debut to remember, as he bagged a hat-trick in the team's 6-1 thrashing of Switzerland.

Ronaldo didn't have to sit on the bench the entire game and actually agreed to be brought on as a substitute, which he wasn't keen on when at Manchester United, replacing Joao Felix in the 73rd minute, with his side already 5-1 ahead.

Having played just 17 minutes of the game, the 37-year-old would have been expected to train on Wednesday with the rest of the squad who didn't play, and fellow substitutes.

However, according to Marca, there was a surprise amongst the squad when he didn't appear at training, instead choosing to do gym work, along with those who started, despite not having an injury.

Ronaldo did gym work on Wednesday. Image: Alamy
Ronaldo did gym work on Wednesday. Image: Alamy

Ronaldo had started in the previous 31 fixtures for his national team in major tournaments, stretching back to the Euro 2008 game against Switzerland.

On that occasion, things hadn't gone as well for Portugal, who lost 2-0 in the group stages but had already gone through after winning their first two games.

This time the decision would have been seen as much more controversial but there was large support for dropping him in the Portuguese press ahead of the game.

Santos had hinted that the captaincy, and even a starting place in the team, were going to be taken away from the all time leading goalscorer in men's international football.

Pepe puts the captain's armband on Ronaldo as he comes on. Image: Alamy
Pepe puts the captain's armband on Ronaldo as he comes on. Image: Alamy

The former United striker became the first man to score in five World Cups in-a-row, when he scored from a controversial penalty vs Ghana.

But he hasn't been able to find the back of the net since and the team seemed to play better without his presence on Tuesday night.

Despite the fact that the team scored six goals without him, Ronaldo's partner Georgina Rodriguez was not happy with the decision, taking to social media to say, "What a shame not to have been able to enjoy the best player in the world for 90 minutes."

His side next face Morocco in the quarter finals and it's been claimed that the Euro 2016 winner has 'no chance' of getting back into the starting line up for that game.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Football, Football World Cup, Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal

Ryan Sidle
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