Cristiano Ronaldo appeared to head straight down the tunnel, rather than celebrate with his Portugal teammates, after he was dropped for their eye-catching World Cup victory over Switzerland.
Ronaldo, 37, started all three Group H matches for the Euro 2016 winners. However, with last-16 progression on the line at the Lusail Stadium on Tuesday night, he was surprisingly omitted by Fernando Santos after venting his anger towards being substituted during their previous game with South Korea.
Adding insult to injury for Ronaldo, his replacement in the team – Benfica striker Goncalo Ramos – scored a brilliant hat-trick as Portugal clocked up a statement 6-1 win to book their place in the quarters. Next up for his country is a last-8 showdown with Morocco after their famous penalty shootout triumph against Spain.
Although their former Manchester Unitedcolleague had to settle for a place on the bench, Diogo Dalot and Bruno Fernandes were both named in the starting XI by Santos and made a telling impact. Fernandes helped himself to an assist as Pepe, Raphael Guerreiro and Rafael Leao netted the other goals.
After the final whistle, Dalot and Fernandes – along with their Portugal teammates and coaches – paid their respect to supporters by heading over to them to celebrate. However, as they were when the team-sheet was published at the outset, Portugal found themselves Ronaldo -less by that stage.
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