Ronaldo, the bad news


By: Manu Tournoux

At 39 years old, while he is still as prolific with Al-Nassr, can Cristiano Ronaldo lose his starting place in the Portuguese selection? The current trend is not good…

It was without its emblematic captain Cristiano Ronaldo that Portugal offered an offensive festival to the Guimaraes public by winning 5-2 against Sweden on Thursday evening in a friendly match. The five-time Ballon d'Or was rested, while his last match with Al-Nassr was a week ago, and he will play the second preparation match against Slovenia, next Tuesday in Ljubljana.

“CR7” will thus be aligned by Roberto Martinez with the replacements (like PSG players Danilo Pereira and Vitinha or even Joao Félix). Quite incredibly, the native of Funchal started in all 10 matches of the Euro 2024 qualifiers (against Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iceland and Slovakia). He finished with a nice record of 10 goals (four fewer than Romelu Lukaku with Belgium).

The holders at rest…

Against the Swedes, it was Gonçalo Ramos who started at the forefront of the attack, with Pepe, Ruben Dias, Nuno Mendes, Joao Palhinha, Bernardo Silva, Rafael Leao and Bruno Fernandes in the eleven. The PSG center forward scored his team's fifth goal. Eight of the eleven starters from Thursday are also spared for the second match (including the PSG player).

At 39, Ronaldo can very well become a luxury joker again (like in the middle of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar under the orders of Fernando Santos). We will have to wait for the three preparation matches at the beginning of June, against Finland, Croatia and Ireland, to find out Roberto Martinez's plans. At the Euro, the Portuguese will face the Czech Republic, Turkey and the winner of the Georgia-Greece play-off.

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