Portugal coach Fernando Santos has said he “really didn’t like” Cristiano Ronaldo’s reaction to being substituted in the World Cup defeat to South Korea.
Ronaldo was removed 65 minutes after their final defeat in the group stage and denied directing an outburst at his trainer.
Santos declined to comment on reports that Ronaldo could be dropped for Tuesday’s last-16 game against Switzerland.
“I’m not worried if the information is good or bad,” Santos said.
“I don’t read this type of information. I’m focused on my team. We focus on training and don’t pay attention to any polls [in the Portuguese media].
“Yes, I didn’t like it, not at all [Ronaldo’s outburst]. I really did not like it and from that moment on this question [it] is finished.”
Much of Monday’s Portuguese press conference was dominated by talk of the 37-year-old striker, who left Manchester United by mutual agreement in November following a controversial interview.
The Saudi club Al-Nassr has already made a huge offer sign Ronaldo after the tournament in Qatar, as several other clubs showed interest in him.
“I didn’t tell him about it,” Santos added.
“I don’t know. It’s his decision. I didn’t even know and I heard about it when I got here.
“We are focused on the World Cup. I don’t know anything about that other problem.”
Chris SUTTON’S PREDICTIONS
Switzerland were very passive against Brazil and didn’t manage a shot on target, but their other games in Qatar give us a better idea of what to expect here.
Portugal have great players, but the Swiss will be full of confidence after the way they beat Serbia to advance to the knockout stages. They also beat Portugal when they faced them in the Nations League in June.
It will be close and I have a feeling Cristiano Ronaldo will have a say in the outcome – but not necessarily in a positive way.
It’s a risk versus reward scenario for Portugal if they go for Ronaldo as his influence in the squad is huge but they might have a better starter who should be in the side.
If this tie goes the distance, how long does he have to stay on the pitch?
Sutton’s prediction: 1-1 – Switzerland win on penalties after extra time – Ronaldo misses the decisive free kick.
- This will be the third meeting between Portugal and Switzerland in 2022, having faced each other twice in the UEFA Nations League in June. Portugal won 4-0 in a contest in Lisbon, before Switzerland won 1-0 in Geneva a week later.
- Portugal will be looking to reach the quarter-finals of the World Cup for only the third time, previously in 1966 and 2006. However, they have not won any of their last five tournament knockout games, losing each of their last four, including defeats at this stage in 2010 (0-1 against Spain) and in 2018 (1-2 against Uruguay).
- Switzerland have won two of their 2022 World Cup group stage matches (L1 v Brazil) and will be looking to win three games in a single World Cup tournament for the first time in their history.
- All eight of Cristiano Ronaldo’s World Cup goals have come in the group stage of the competition, the most goals scored by a player in the history of the tournament without ever scoring in the round of 16 (alongside Lionel Messi). Ronaldo is yet to find the back of the net in his six knockout matches for Portugal at the World Cup, despite playing 514 minutes and 25 attempted goals in total.