Stephen Dunmoye

Portugal fans has lamented that they want Cristiano Ronaldo dropped from the starting eleven for their crucial UEFA Nations League tie versus Spain, noting that they must avoid defeat.

Ronaldo has been criticised by the Portuguese media and supporters of the national team due to recent poor performances.

The 37-year-old started in Portugal’s 4-0 win over the Czech Republic where he gave away a penalty and picked up a nasty facial injury that has left him with a black eye.

It was reported that Portuguese newspaper A Bola, dedicated their back page with the headline “Less Ronaldo, more Portugal” getting used.

The report explained that despite Ronaldo being the captain, scoring 117 goals in 190 international caps, he should be benched due to a lack of minutes and goals this season.

They suggest that his Manchester United team-mate Bruno Fernandes should step up into the leadership role on the pitch.
A poll was also conducted by the outlet with the results being that 57 per cent of fans think Ronaldo should not start against Spain.

This latest disappointment comes after his bid to leave Old Trafford in the summer failed and finding himself used mainly used as a substitute by Erik ten Hag since.

For Portugal they must avoid defeat or Spain will top the group and make it through to the Nations League semi-finals.

However, pressure from the media and fans means Ronaldo’s place in the Portugal starting line-up for the World Cup is not guaranteed.

It is thought it could be his last major tournament however he’s said he wants to play in Euro 2024.

Portugal is in a World Cup group with Ghana, Uruguay and South Korea.