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Portugal's insane squad depth is proof they need to move on from Cristiano Ronaldo

Daniel Marland

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Portugal's insane squad depth is proof they need to move on from Cristiano Ronaldo

Fans believe Cristiano Ronaldo's time in the Portugal starting XI needs to come to an end after seeing their insane squad.

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The five-time Ballon d'Or winner looked well off the pace in Tuesday's 1-0 defeat to Spain, blazing several shots wide.

Ronaldo is going through the toughest period of his career so far and he's only scored one goal for Manchester United this season.

His poor form has carried over to the national side and Portugal manager Fernando Santos has a tricky decision to make two months away from the World Cup.

Ronaldo is Portugal captain and their all-time top goalscorer with 117 goals, but it could be time to usher in a new generation.

Image Credit: Alamy
Image Credit: Alamy

Portugal's attack is stacked, but their main job is to provide service for Ronaldo. The 37-year-old isn't as mobile as he used to be and operates as a poacher above all else.

That's limiting the likes of Diogo Jota and Rafael Leao, who are Premier League and Serie A winners with Liverpool and AC Milan respectively.

Joao Felix's career is yet to fully take off, while Pedro Neto remains a promising prospect. Bernardo Silva's proven his world class qualities since joining Manchester City too.

None are as clinical as Ronaldo in front of goal, but offer balance and more movement all around the pitch.

Image Credit: Alamy
Image Credit: Alamy

Portugal aren't exactly short in midfield either. Supplying these forwards are Bruno Fernandes and Ruben Neves, with William Carvalho sitting at the base.

Fernandes is rediscovering his form with Manchester United this season and Neves makes every pass look easy. Carvalho mops up any potential danger too, allowing the other two to thrive.

A full-back pairing of Joao Cancelo and Nuno Mendes will terrorise opposition defences with overlapping runs and outrageous crosses. Ruben Dias is a rock in central defence with the veteran Danilo Pereira next to him. David Carmo and Tiago Djalo are waiting in the wings for an opportunity, likely partnering Dias.

Rui Patricio has been number one goalkeeper since 2010 and is enjoying a career renaissance with Europa Conference League holders Roma.

A potential Portugal team without Ronaldo. (Image Credit: SPORTbible)
A potential Portugal team without Ronaldo. (Image Credit: SPORTbible)

A Ronaldo-less Portugal does look strange on the face of it and there's a chance we don't get it for some time. He recently confirmed he intends to play for his country until at least Euro 2024.

Ronaldo declared: "I hope to be a part of the Federation for a few more years. I still feel motivated, my ambition is high.

"My path in the national team is not over. We have many quality youngsters. I will be at the World Cup and I want to be at the European Championship."

Do you think Cristiano Ronaldo's time in the Portugal team is up? Let us know in the comments.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal

Daniel Marland
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