Gary Neville has leapt to the defence of Cristiano Ronaldo after the Portugal star was accused of ‘sulking’ on the bench during their 6-1 World Cupknockout victory over Switzerland. The former Manchester United star was dropped by head coach Fernando Santos for reacting angrily to being substituted and wore a miserable expression on the bench as Portugal produced a stunning display without him.
The 37-year-old was spotted by TV cameras looking less than impressed just seconds after his replacement Goncalo Ramos opened the scoring with a stunning finish from a tight angle. He looked much happier, however, when Pepe headed home a second goal – sparking suggestions Ronaldo was unhappy that his replacement had scored.
Benfica striker Ramos later completed his hat-trick to cap a memorable display and the 21-year-old was given a well-earned rest on 72 minutes, with Santos sending on Ronaldo to win his 195th cap for the Selecao.
Neville, who was working on the game with ITV Sport as a pundit in the studio, came to his defence by clarifying that Ronaldo had in fact joined in the celebrations for both goals after witnessing him run down the touchline at the Lusail Stadium.
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