Calls In Portugal For Ronaldo To Be Dropped

Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo

There are reportedly calls in Portugal for five-time Ballon d'Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo to be dropped from the national team's starting XI for their round of 16 encounter against Switzerland this week.

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In a survey conducted by Portuguese outlet A Bola, 70% of voters said they would leave the 37-year-old on the bench for the team's last 16 match against the Swiss on Tuesday.

It is believed the majority of fans would instead prefer AC Milan winger Rafael Leao to be in the starting XI for the tie, with the exciting young talent having only come on as a substitute in all three of their group games.

Ronaldo has been criticised in recent weeks following his last two matches for Portugal, during which he failed to score. The ex-Manchester United striker did net in A Selecao's first match of the tournament, though, a penalty in a 3-2 victory over Ghana.

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The former Real Madrid talisman cut a frustrated figure in Portugal's shock 2-1 loss to South Korea last week before being replaced in the 65th minute.

Ronaldo, who is currently a free agent, has struck on just three occasions in his last 12 international games.

The experienced forward went into the World Cup under heavy scrutiny following his controversial interview with British broadcaster Piers Morgan, during which he lambasted United manager Erik ten Hag.

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As a consequence of his actions, Ronaldo's contract at the Red Devils was mutually terminated just days before Fernando Santos' men played their first match in Qatar.

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