“Between us we talked” – Portugal superstar reveals how teammates suspected Cristiano Ronaldo would be dropped at 2022 FIFA World Cup

Bernardo Silva doesn
Bernardo Silva doesn't criticize Fernando Santos' call to drop Cristiano Ronaldo.from Portugal's FIFA World Cup knockout games.

Portugal superstar Bernardo Silva recently claimed that his teammates suspected Cristiano Ronaldo could be dropped from the line-up at the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Ronaldo, a five-time Ballon d'Or winner, is one of the greatest players in the history of the sport. However, this season has undoubtedly been the worst of his career so far.

Ronaldo left Manchester United by mutual consent in November, after starting just four league games under manager Erik ten Hag. He captained Portugal in all three of their group-stage matches in Qatar, but was benched in both of their knockout games.

The 37-year-old was largely docile in the three FIFA World Cup matches he started, scoring just once. Manager Fernando Santos, who has since left the managerial role, opted to start Goncalo Ramos in the last-16 win against Switzerland.

Cristiano Ronaldo has won everything there is to win 👏

That decision came after Cristiano Ronaldo made a disrespectful gesture toward a South Korean player in his team's 2-1 group-stage loss. Santos publicly condemned him for his actions.

The former Real Madrid forward was left out of the starting XI once again when his team faced Morocco in the quarter-finals, where they lost 1-0. He came on as a substitute in both those games, but made no tangible impact.

Speaking about Santos' decision to leave the 37-year-old out of his line-up, Silva told Record (h/t GOAL):

"Between us we talked and asked, 'Could it be, would it not be?' Because the players talk. But we only found out about the team in the locker room when we arrived at the stadium, two hours before the game.
"There are 26 players, too many for the coach to choose for each specific game. It never shocks me that he decides to go with one or the other. Right or wrong in the opinion of each one, the coach has the right to make the decisions he makes."

Cristiano Ronaldo's 2022 FIFA World Cup campaign was one to forget

Cristiano Ronaldo was objectively disappointing whenever he was on the pitch for Portugal in Qatar.

Cristiano Ronaldo has just landed in Riyadh ahead of his move to Al Nassr 🟡🛬 #RonaldoSecond part of medical will be done on Tuesday, then he will be unveiled as new signing.🎥 @ariyadhiah_br

Ronaldo looked devoid of ideas and was unable to pop up with individual bits of magic to rescue his team from trouble. He may not have started against Morocco, but he had ample time to make an impact considering he was substituted into the game in the 51st minute.

Portugal's elimination in the quarter-finals could mean Cristiano Ronaldo ends his international career without a World Cup.

There is every chance he will travel with the country to future World Cups as part of the backroom staff. But his journey in the competition could well be over.

Ronaldo has eight goals and two assists in 22 games across five FIFA World Cup tournaments.

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Edited by Rajdeep Barman
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