Star Substituted Into World Cup After Snub


Portugal’s superstar striker Cristiano Ronaldo entered the team’s quarterfinal match against Morocco, after being snubbed two matches in a row, as Portugal looks to bounce back from a 1-0 deficit and advance to the semifinals.

Key Facts

Trailing to underdog Morocco, Portugal manager Fernando Santos substituted Ronaldo into the match in the 51st minute of play.

Santos had benched the team’s star striker for the second straight match, saying, “there is no problem with our captain” and that he “had no issue with my decision.”

Morocco scored its only goal while Ronaldo was on the bench.

The winner of the match will face the winner of the England v. France match, which is set for 2 p.m. this afternoon.

Key Background

Following the team’s dominant 6-1 win over Switzerland in the Round of Eight earlier this week, Ronaldo, the 37-year-old former Manchester United and Real Madrid star, congratulated his teammates in an Instagram post, calling their win a “luxury exhibition of a team full of talent and youth”—although video footage from the match caught him appearing visibly frustrated, uttering, “he’s in a rush to sub me.” Ronaldo’s replacement, 21-year-old Goncalo Ramos, scored a hat trick in Portugal’s win over Switzerland.

Surprising Fact

With his entrance into the game, Ronaldo set a record for the most international matches, called caps, a player has appeared in, with 196.

Further Reading

World Cup Shocker: Croatia Knocks Out Favorite Brazil Even As Neymar Ties Pelé’s Goal Record (Forbes)

Sigh Of Relief: Argentina Survives Staggering Netherlands Comeback To Reach World Cup Semifinals (Forbes)

What To Watch In Final World Cup Stretch: Messi’s Last Stand, Neymar Vs. Pelé, Morocco’s Run For The Ages And More (Forbes)