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Cristiano Ronaldo

'Ronaldo showed great personality' - Portugal striker won't cause dressing room rift after being dropped, insists Bernardo

15:20 GMT 07/12/2022
Cristiano-Ronaldo
Bernardo Silva has insisted that Cristiano Ronaldo won't cause a rift in Portugal's World Cup camp after being dropped.
  • Ronaldo dropped by coach against Switzerland
  • Silva dismissed dressing room rift notion
  • Fernandes also stood firmly behind his skipper

WHAT HAPPENED? Portugal coach Fernando Santos decided to bench Ronaldo against Switzerland for their round-of-16 encounter after the manager admitted he was not happy with the forward's reaction to being substituted against South Korea. Ronaldo cut a frustrated-looking figure among the substitutes before coming on for a late cameo in the 6-1 victory, however, Bernardo has insisted that he has not been a disruptive influence in the dressing room.

WHAT THEY SAID: Asked if Ronaldo could create any problems in the camp, the Manchester City star told reporters post-match: "I don’t think so. I think he is helping us. Today he showed a great personality inside the dressing room, and he was fine. Of course, sometimes he might not be happy because everyone wants to play. But he helped us a lot in his role and his attitude was great.''

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Ronaldo's former Manchester United teammate Bruno Fernandes echoed Bernardo's thoughts as he also jumped to his defence. "He was like everyone else. Do you think anyone likes to be on the bench?'' said Fernandes. ''I think Jose Sa, he didn’t play one game, one minute. He knows that he is the third goalkeeper. Probably he is not happy to be on the bench. So, do you think Cristiano will be happy? If the manager in the next game put me on the bench, I will be angry with him.

''We won the first two games [at the World Cup] with Cristiano in the first XI. If Cristiano had played, he could have scored three goals and no one was speaking about Cristiano being on the bench. Cristiano is doing his job, doing his part, he’s happy with the result because the goal for everyone is to go as far as possible.''

IN THREE PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT FOR RONALDO? The all-time leading men's international goalscorer might once again need to settle for a bench role against Morocco in the World Cup quarter-finals on Saturday as his replacement Goncalo Ramos scored a hat-trick against Switzerland to vindicate Santos' decision.