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Joao Felix alludes to Ronaldo situation as he urges Portugal fans and media not to 'spoil' World Cup campaign

9:24 PM IST 09/12/22
Joao Felix Portugal World Cup 2022
Joao Felix has called for unity between the Portuguese public and media as rumours swirl about Cristiano Ronaldo's happiness.
  • Portugal into the quarter-final
  • Ronaldo benched in last match
  • Questions asked about his attitude

WHAT HAPPENED? Ahead of their last-16 clash with Switzerland, manager Fernando Santos made the bold call to drop Ronaldo. While it paid off – with Portugal winning 6-1 – speculation has lingered over just how well the 37-year-old has reacted to being put on the bench.

WHAT THEY SAID: Amid it all, Felix told the press: “I just want to leave a message to all Portuguese people and the media. Portugal is in a great competition, I think we should all be more united and not try to spoil the atmosphere that we have in the Selection.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Santos has downplayed any talk of a rift, saying: "I think it's high time to leave Ronaldo alone. He has never told me that he wanted to leave our national team and I think it's high time we stopped with this conversation, that we stop with the polemics." He did, however, admit that the striker challenged his decision. Ronaldo supposedly said: "Do you really think it's a good idea?"

IN THREE PHOTOS:

DID YOU KNOW? Goncalo Ramos, who came in to replace Ronaldo, became the first player to score a hat-trick on his World Cup debut since Miroslav Klose for Germany in 2002. Ramos' efforts also mean he already has three more goals than Ronaldo has ever managed in the knockout stages of the competition.

WHAT NEXT FOR PORTUGAL? Felix and Co. take on Morocco in the quarter-final of the World Cup on Saturday. It will be fascinating to see if Ronaldo is left on the bench again and how he potentially reacts to that situation.