BRUNO FERNANDES has launched a passionate defence of Cristiano Ronaldo, asking: “Do you think anyone likes being benched?”
Ronaldo, 37, was sensationally dropped by Portugal for last night’s 6-1 win over Switzerland.
The ex-Man United star watched from the bench as replacement Goncalo Ramos netted a hat-trick to set up a quarter-final tie with Morocco.
In scenes echoing those against Tottenham at Old Trafford, Ronaldo walked down the tunnel while his teammates were celebrating on the field.
And it is unclear if he regains his spot in Portugal’s next game after Ramos laid down a marker against the Swiss.
However, former United teammate Fernandes has backed Ronaldo in his latest struggle.
The midfielder believes it is never easy for a player to be axed from the starting XI.
And Fernandes insists Ronaldo IS backing Portugal’s World Cup bid 100 per cent, despite his own SISTER urging the veteran to “come home.”
Fernandes said: “Do you think anyone likes to be on the bench? I don’t think Cristiano would be happy.
“If the manager put me on the bench in the next game, I would be angry.
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“Cristiano is doing his job, he’s doing his part, he’s happy with the result because the goal for everyone is to go as far as possible.”
Ronaldo wasn’t the only player to be dropped by Nuno Santos yesterday.
Man City full-back Joao Cancelo saw himself replaced by United’s Diogo Dalot.
And Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves was ousted in favour of Real Betis’ William Carvalho.
It suggests Ronaldo’s exit could simply have been a tactical one.
But it remains to be seen if he returns for Morocco on Saturday.