DOHA. — The vast majority of Portugal fans do not want Cristiano Ronaldo to return to Fernando Santos’ starting line-up against Morocco, based on a survey carried out by the Portuguese media.
Ronaldo dropped to the bench during his country’s blistering 6-1 triumph against Switzerland in the last-16 and was replaced by 21-year-old striker Goncalo Ramos, who netted a hat-trick in his first World Cup start for Portugal.
Reports yesterday claimed that a furious Ronaldo threatened to walk out on his country after his demotion from the starting line-up, but was eventually talked out of making a hasty decision.
The Portuguese FA has refuted the claim.
Ahead of the last-16 clash, manager Santos admitted he was furious at Ronaldo for sulking after being substituted during Portugal’s group stage defeat by South Korea last week.
Ramos’ hat-trick has understandably cast doubt over the veteran’s spot in the starting line-up for the remainder of the tournament.
After carrying out a survey amongst the nation’s fans, Portuguese newspaper A Bola found that an astonishing 93.6% of supporters want Ramos to lead the line against Morocco. The poll, which simply required a yes or no answer, does not bode well for the former Manchester United superstar.
According to Spanish outlet Marca, Ronaldo did not train with Portugal’s substitutes on Wednesday and instead insisted on joining the starters for a gym session.
A win against Morocco in the quarter-final would book Portugal a last-four clash with either France or England, who also play tomorrow. – Mailonline.