Did Cristiano Ronaldo walk off the pitch as Portugal players celebrate win over Switzerland?
Fans have been arguing over an image showing Portugal captain, Cristiano Ronaldo, walking off the pitch at full-time as his teammates celebrated their thumping 6-1 win over Switzerland with fans.
Prior to the match, Portugal manager, Fernando Santos, made the bold decision to drop Ronaldo from the starting XI for their last-16 tie Tuesday evening.
Goncalo Ramos, who stepped in as a replacement for Ronaldo, delivered a masterpiece performance with a sensational hat-trick at the Lusail Stadium.
The 21-year-old Benfica player opened the scoring for the 2016 Euro champions before adding two more to his name in the second half.
Ronaldo came off the bench in the second half and replaced Joao Felix, but the five-time Ballon d’Or winner failed to add his name to the scoresheet in Portugal’s 6-1 demolition of Switzerland.
However, footage of the 37-year-old Portuguese forward ‘walking straight off’ the pitch while his Portugal teammates celebrated with fans quickly made the rounds on social media.
One Twitter user said in response to the footage: “If it’s not about him, he can’t handle it. Maybe Saudi [Arabia] isn’t the best option for him. There’s [sic] better players there than him.”
Another fan commented: “What a disgrace of a captain Ronaldo is! Can’t digest [the] fact that his team performed brilliantly while he was a spectator.”
While someone else posted: “So, he did it again.”
A fourth fan tweeted: “A bit disappointing. You’d expect more from a 37-year-old.”
However, not everyone felt Ronaldo was in the wrong for leaving the pitch while his teammates celebrated, with his legion of fans flocking to social media to defend him.
“He literally stayed there celebrating and clapping and went inside ONE MINUTE before all of them. Shut up, idiot,” one furious fan said.
A second fan claimed: “I did see someone shake and hug as many teammates and opposing players before applauding the fans.”
And a third Twitter user added: “He walked over and clapped the crowd, the team were one minute behind him. Shut up.”
Portugal will now face Morocco, who caused a stunning upset against Spain on Tuesday, in the quarter-finals on Saturday at the Al-Thumama Stadium.
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