Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo was a forlorn figure as he walked off the field following a FIFA World Cup match in which he was not the center of attention. 

Ronaldo was not part of the Portugal’s playing eleven in the Round of 16 match against Switzerland on Tuesday. Portugal won that match 6-1 to sail into the quarterfinals.

Ronaldo’s 21-year-old replacement Goncalo Ramos scored a hat trick in the dominant victory. The performance will certainly raise questions over Ronaldo’s future with his national team.

Star footballer Ronaldo congratulated Ramos at midfield at the end of the game and then walked towards the Portugal section of fans and briefly clapped in their direction. But as the rest of the squad had their moment of fan appreciation, Ronaldo left his teammates behind and walked off alone through the tunnel.

Ronaldo breezed through the post-match interview area with a grin on his face. He only responded to one question: Was he happy? 

“Of course, of course,” the superstar grinned. “Portugal won,” he said.

Fernando Santos expressed frustration with his 37-year-old star the day before he dropped Ronaldo from the starting lineup.

Santos said the decision was tactical and not disciplinary. However, he had acknowledged earlier that he was bothered by Ronaldo’s poor attitude after he pulled him late in a 2-1 loss to South Korea in the final game of group play.