February 5, 2023

Fernando Santos is told by Dutch icon Ronald de Boer to bench Cristiano Ronaldo for Portugal’s World Cup final in the last 16 against Switzerland.

  • Portugal’s Fernando Santos has been told to drop Cristiano Ronaldo on the bench
  • The Portuguese manager was frustrated by the attacker’s public grumbling against South Korea
  • And Dutch legend Ronald de Boer told the veteran star that he ‘needs to be a little bit smarter’
  • Portugal will meet Switzerland in the round of 16 of the World Cup on Tuesday evening
  • Click here for the latest World Cup 2022 news, schedules, live action and results

According to Dutch icon Ronald de Boer, Cristiano Ronaldo should be on the bench with Portuguese manager Fernando Santos.

The seasoned attacker once again made headlines for all the wrong reasons after his public hangup after being substituted after 65 minutes in Friday’s 2-1 World Cup group stage defeat to South Korea.

And De Boer told Talk sport that the 37-year-old needs to be “a little smarter” in the wake of his latest sulks.

Cristiano Ronaldo (right) should be benched by Fernando Santos (left), says Ronald de Boer

Cristiano Ronaldo (right) should be benched by Fernando Santos (left), says Ronald de Boer

The striker is playing despite a public sling as he was substituted last Friday

The Portuguese striker had a very public blow when he was substituted by Santos on Friday

He said: ‘It’s not just Ronaldo, it’s everything that comes with him. Everyone has an opinion. The weight you get on your shoulders when you leave him outside… you have to respond to that. Everyone only talks about Cristiano Ronaldo and nothing else.

“It’s not about the game you’re going to play against Switzerland, it’s about why you benched him or why you started with him. You probably never get it right. If I were the manager I would bench him.

Asked if he would be angry if Ronaldo cursed at him as a manager as he did to Portuguese national coach Fernando Santos, De Boer added: “It depends at what time and how he did it. You always have to see the whole picture.

And Dutch legend De Boer (pictured) insisted the former Manchester United star 'needs to be a bit smarter' after his latest outburst

And Dutch legend De Boer (pictured) insisted the former Manchester United star ‘needs to be a bit smarter’ after his latest outburst

“But how he reacted lately, of course there is already a negative atmosphere around him, so he must also be a bit smarter at the moment.”

Santos admitted he was furious at Ronaldo’s reaction when he was substituted. He said he “didn’t like it at all” and hinted he would drop the captaincy due to their meeting with Switzerland where they will face either Spain or Morocco if they win.

An opinion poll in the Portuguese newspaper A Bola showed that 70 percent of readers want Ronaldo to be removed from the starting team against the Swiss.

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