It was an extremely unfamiliar feeling for Cristiano Ronaldo on Tuesday night. For the first time since 16 June 2004, a 2-0 win over Russia at the EURO on home soil, the Portuguese superstar did not start a major tournament.
Benching a player with such a big name and an even bigger ego takes courage.The daily mirror app The latest news, background information and analyzes straight to your smartphone. Plus the digital newspaper. Download here for free.
When, like Portugal coach Fernando Santos, you’ve known Ronaldo for almost 20 years, won the only major title in the country’s history with him and called him a friend, it’s an even harder decision to make. But the 68-year-old dared – and was rewarded.
The 6-1 win against Switzerland was the best international game the Portuguese national team had played in many years and it was no coincidence that most of it took place without Ronaldo. The five-time world footballer still has an incomparable goal instinct in the penalty area, but this is becoming less and less effective.“He’s a phenomenon, a legend” Cristiano Ronaldo and his record hunt
After all, even the most rigorous training program cannot stop the passage of time, and Ronaldo no longer has the drive to get into the right positions. For years his teams have tolerated his little participation in the game and little in the pressing because he guaranteed them goals.
But now, at this level, he’s more of a liability than a difference player. Without him, his colleagues seemed unleashed against Switzerland.
Ronaldo obviously finds it difficult to accept his gradual (sporting) loss of importance. He cheered cautiously when his colleagues scored six goals – three of which were scored by Gonçalo Ramos, who replaced him in the starting XI.
In the previous game against South Korea, he had given Santos the last argument for his transfer to the bench with a snapped comment after his substitution. And after reaching the quarterfinals, he rushed into the dressing room while his colleagues were still celebrating with the fans.The dream beach remains empty This is how the fans in Morocco experienced the World Cup sensation Was it worth it? Corrupt Fifa betrayed us twice The case of the former innovator Oliver Bierhoff’s image was just miserable
Ronaldo will probably no longer be friends with a supporting role in this sportsman’s life. That’s why his engagement at Manchester United had already failed and that also harbors explosives in the Portuguese team.
The uncomplaining acceptance of his new role is Ronaldo’s only chance of realizing his big dream. He would also be world champion as a supporting actor. He should have known that at least since the 2016 European Championships, when he was substituted off injured in the final and directed and cheered alongside Santos.