The pictures are the same: Ronaldo takes a seat on the bench with the other substitutes from the Portuguese national team before the game against Morocco - and all that most photographers from the photographer crowd are interested in are pictures of Ronaldo. It was like that before the game against Switzerland in the round of 16. Again, Ronaldo wears the bronze reserve jersey and looks damn serious until he sits down.
Ronaldo is sending the following message to the world: being on the bench is a martyrdom, but he accepts it because he puts himself at the service of the team. After the game has kicked off, Ronaldo's expression alternates between a childish pout and a suffering hero. Ronaldo is and will always be a drama queen.
National coach Fernando Santos had banned the superstar from the starting eleven again. As in the 6-1 win against Switzerland, Gonçalo Ramos from Benfica started in the center of attack again. Ramos had scored a hat-trick in his World Cup debut.
Before the quarterfinals against the North Africans, Santos emphasized that he was hiding the debates about Ronaldo's reserve role. "The emotional side doesn't matter. It doesn't matter whether I spoke to him before the game," said the 68-year-old, referring to the fuss surrounding the captain, who is accompanying Portugal's national team during this World Cup.