“Hat-trick loading” - Fans back Portugal star to shine as Cristiano Ronaldo misses out on starting line-up to face Croatia

Portugal star backed to shine in Cristiano Ronaldo
Portugal star backed to shine in Cristiano Ronaldo's absence

Fans on social media are backing Portugal star Bruno Fernandes to shine against Croatia in Cristiano Ronaldo's absence. Roberto Martinez's side will play Vatreni to prepare ahead of Euro 2024.

Diogo Costa starts in goal for Portugal. Diogo Ddalot, Rube Dias, Goncalo Inacio, and Nuno Mendes are the four defenders. Joao Pahinha, Vitinha, and Bruno Fernandes are three midfielders. Bernardo Silva and Joao Felix will support leading attacker Goncalo Ramos. Cristiano Ronaldo isn't on the bench as well.

Ronaldo has joined Portugal's training camp recently and he won't feature against Croatia. The Portugal captain didn't play the previous friendly against Finland as well. The 2016 Euro champions sealed a 4-2 win in that game.

Fernandes came on as a substitute in that match. He scored a brace, including a spectacular finish from outside the box. Fans have backed Fernandes to have a similar impact against Croatia. One fan wrote on X (formerly Twitter):

"Bruno hattrick loading."

Another fan commented:

"Bruno to score."

One excited fan wrote:

"Brunoooo."

Another analytically claimed:

"I know I love Luka but at this point Bruno must shine meanwhile as CR7 is coming to finish the job."

One fan made a bold prediction, writing:

"I will come back to this tonight when Bruno Fernandes gets at least two goal contributions from midfield tonight."

Yet another wrote:

"We'll be there."

Roberto Martinez reveals Cristiano Ronaldo plan for Portugal

Roberto Martinez has revealed that Cristiano Ronaldo and Ruben Neves joined Portugal's camp on June 7. Both Al-Nassr and Al-Hilal superstars recently faced off in a cup final.

Martinez further added that they'd be rested against Croatia and will be back to faceoff against Ireland on June 11. Martinez said (via GOAL):

"All the players have had seven days to adapt, prepare for the Euros and refresh their minds. The plan for the two of them is to skip the match against Croatia and play against Ireland."

Martinez has also backed Ronaldo to have a successful goalscoring tournament in the Euros. The Portugal captain will feature in his record-extending sixth European championships.

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