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Cristiano Ronaldo On The World Cup: Why Are Portuguese Fans Turning Against Him?



A once-worshiped Portuguese National team player Cristiano Ronaldo is now seen in a different light by a country he gave his all for the majority of his career. This occurrence backs the saying, “you either live long enough to see yourself turn into the villain, or you die a hero.” The erratic season for Cristiano Ronaldo on the football field continues to get worse.

This year alone, he has had serious issues with club football that resulted in a dramatic exit from Manchester United. Now, the most recent one is the eventual elimination of Portugal at the hands of Morocco.  The World Cup dream of Cristiano Ronaldo has likely ended, but is his entire career nearing its conclusion? Here we will look at the events that led to Ronaldo being seen in this light by the Portuguese Fans.

Ronaldo 2022 Qatar World Cup Stint

  • Portugal opened their 2022 Qatar World Cup stint against Ghana, and Ronaldo appeared to have put all the drama at Manchester United behind him. He scored a penalty to put Portugal in front, and it was all smiles for the Portuguese forward, who appeared to have debunked rumors of any strain between him and the players in the national team.  
  • Moving on, Portugal played Uruguay; next, Ronaldo failed to record any goal contribution in an eventual win for the Portuguese to establish their dominance in Group H. 
  • The most recent incident began when Ronaldo responded to being substituted in the 65th minute of Portugal’s 2-1 defeat to South Korea in the last round of group games. He showed displeasure in what he believed was an early substitution, but the coach laid any discrepancies to rest and assured Ronaldo was still in sync with the team.
  •  Ronaldo was substituted on the bench against Switzerland in the last 16; this was the first major tournament game he had not started in fourteen years. Goncalo Ramos, his teenage replacement, then scored a hat-trick, making Ronaldo the star player who had previously only played as a sub.
  • Even though he was given most of the second half to have an impact and entered the game with his team behind 1-0, it was how he was deployed against Morocco.

Why Are The Portuguese Fans Against Ronaldo

Ronaldo’s rocky tournament never seemed to have a happy ending, as he was demoted to the role of replacement by his country. However, his tears following Portugal’s quarterfinal exit turned out to be an accurate representation of his current condition. The Portuguese fans started turning against Ronaldo when they realized he was no longer the player he was and might not be able to propel them to the World Cup finals.

The Portuguese fans widely supported dropping Ronaldo from the starting lineup. To confirm that, 70% of respondents to a poll by the newspaper A Bola want him to come off the bench when the Quinas play Switzerland in the round of 16 of the competition. However, no matter how much Ronaldo tries to show he’s more about collective success than individual accolades, his claims on what seemed to be Bruno Fernades’ goals against Uruguay and his attitude towards being on the bench just made it worse. 

What’s Next For Ronaldo

Ronaldo is without a club, and top teams around the world are boldly refusing the chance to sign him, which did not come as a surprise, especially with how his contract at Manchester United was terminated. 

  • Off the pitch, Ronaldo’s attitude is seen to bring discrepancies in the locker room, and while on the pitch, he doesn’t have the same impact and intimidating presence. A Saudi Arabia team offered Ronaldo a multi-million dollar deal. He has not commented on his acceptance or refusal of the offer. Where next he will play, club football is yet to be known.
  • Fernando Santos, the Portuguese coach of the Portuguese National team, has freed his team by benching Ronaldo in the round of 16. The fact that Portugal performed with significantly better flexibility, fluidity, and potency without the all-time leading scorer in the history of the international game justified his decision, not simply because Ramos, who took Ronaldo’s position up front, scored a hat-trick.
  • Ronaldo claimed his time in the Portuguese national team is not over and that he’d play for them in the upcoming Euro 2024. His world cup dreams might be over, but he will not give up on getting more silverware for Portugal. 

Ronaldo, within a twinkle of an eye, became a villain in the eyes of the Portuguese fans, and at some point in time, he will have to realize that he’s no longer the player he once was so that the team can move forward. The same thing happened to him in Manchester United, as the team started performing better without him in the starting lineup. The Portuguese National team is no longer his, and it is better he passes the torch in an honorable way rather than end things on a sour note. 

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