Neville claims Ronaldo must improve his attitude after being dropped

Neville claims Ronaldo must improve his attitude after being dropped

‘Is the Manchester United manager wrong and now is the Portugal manager wrong?’: Cristiano Ronaldo ‘has got to do a LOT better’ with his attitude after being dropped by Fernando Santos, insists Gary Neville

  • Cristiano Ronaldo has been benched for Portugal’s clash with Switzerland
  • This follows his unhappy reaction to being substituted last week which angered manager Fernando Santos
  • Gary Neville feels Ronaldo’s attitude is a problem that must be improved
  • Ian Wright has also accused Ronaldo of only thinking about himself  
  • Click here to follow Sportsmail’s live blog for Portugal vs Switzerland 
  • Click here for the latest World Cup 2022 news, fixtures, live action and results

Gary Neville has called for Cristiano Ronaldo to improve his attitude after the forward was sensationally dropped for Portugal’s last-16 World Cup clash with Switzerland.

The 37-year-old was visibly unhappy after being taken off in Portugal’s final group game against South Korea, and his emotional reaction has led to Fernando Santos leaving him out of his starting line-up, with Goncalo Ramos coming in to replace him.

Santos is not the first manager that Ronaldo has fallen out with in recent times. The five-time Ballon d’Or winner abruptly left Juventus last year, and then had his contract at Manchester United terminated last month after admitting he had ‘no respect’ for Erik Ten Hag in a bombshell interview with Piers Morgan.

Cristiano Ronaldo has been named on the bench for Portugal’s clash with Switzerland

Portugal coach Fernando Santos (left) was unimpressed by Ronaldo’s reaction to being substituted during their defeat to South Korea last week

Ronaldo arrives for the match against Switzerland in the last 16 having been dropped to the bench

Costa, Dalot, Pepe, Dias, Guerreiro, Otavio, Carvalho, Silva, Fernandes, Ramos, Felix

Neville believes Ronaldo’s behaviour is now becoming a major issue for the player, and he must take a look at himself in the mirror to get his career back on track.  

‘When it happened at Man United it was suggested Erik Ten Hag was trying to stamp his authority, but the Portugal manager has had an unbelievable relationship with him for a number of years,’ Neville told ITV ahead of Portugal’s match with Switzerland. 

‘There are a lot of fans of Cristiano Ronaldo that aren’t willing to tell him the truth and I think that he does need to listen to the truth and it’s becoming a little bit of a scruffy end. 

‘It wouldn’t surprise me if he came on tonight and scored the winner, but the petulance, stomping around, the sulking.

‘His long term legacy is set, it’s protected, he’s one of the great all-time players, but in the short-term he’s got to do a lot better because is the Juventus manager wrong? Is the Manchester United wrong and now is the Portugal manager wrong? Ten Hag didn’t want him in the team because he thought he was better without him, does the Portugal coach feel the same?’

Gary Neville thinks Ronaldo must improve his attitude after falling out with multiple managers

Fellow pundit Ian Wright was also critical of Ronaldo, and pointed out that the striker appears to have forgotten that football is a team game and is not just about him.  

‘As great as he is, it’s a team game and it comes to this stage now where he’s not been playing well for the last few years and like Gary says, it’s not ending well, it’s ending acrimoniously and it seems to me like he’s not enjoying it at the minute,’ Wright added.

‘He doesn’t look happy. It’s a sad situation because you look at everybody – I don’t know when was the last time he heard no. How many times has he heard no in his life? It feels like that to me.’

Ronaldo appears to be entering the latter stages of his glittering career, with the forward now just two months shy of his 38th birthday.

Nigel De Jong wants to see him leave the stage with grace, rather than with a cloud over his name.

Ian Wright has claimed that Ronaldo is making things all about himself rather than the team

‘What I wanted to add is that as big of a player as Ronaldo is, you have to leave the stage with grace,’ De Jong said.

‘We’ve seen that with Zidane and all the greats before him, they leave with grace and you don’t want to see this from one the best footballers of the last two decades.

‘You can see already that he’s irritated and you can tell by the way he’s behaving in the last couple of months. His team has the chance to make it to the latter stages but he just has to be the bigger man, be a leader in the dressing room regardless of his own situation, but it’s really hard to do for him. I don’t think he can accept the fact that he’s not playing.’

Ronaldo has established himself as one of the most popular players of his generation, but he seems to be losing the support of some fans, with one fan claiming that he is ‘finished’ after being left out, while others have questioned his attitude.

‘Ronaldo dropped, this is the right decision because he is finished!’ one supporter wrote.

‘Ronaldo dropped again for his attitude,’ another added.

‘Ronaldo getting dropped in Portugal’s first knockout game of the World Cup, you couldn’t make it up,’ another fan stated.  

Fans have been reacting to the news that Ronaldo has been dropped by Portugal

Meanwhile, one fan joked that Ronaldo will have to do another tell-all interview with Piers Morgan to explain his latest setback.

‘Ronaldo is dropped. Piers will have to do another interview,’ they wrote.

Ronaldo seems to have also lost some support in his homeland after Portuguese newspaper A Bola last week published a poll asking their readers whether Ronaldo should start against Switzerland. And, perhaps remarkably, an overwhelming 70 per cent said no. 

Slightly questionably, he was also named by Sofascore among the worst XI from the group stage of the World Cup on Saturday, and now he has been dropped by Portugal, capping off a miserable period for one of football’s biggest stars.

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