Diogo Dalot seems to have done enough in Portugal’s humiliating 2-1 World Cup defeat by South Korea to earn a spot in his country’s starting lineup for the 1/8 finals match against Switzerland.
Dalot gave an excellent assist to Portugal’s goal, but also made a couple of unsuccessful passes that jeopardized his team.
Nevertheless, his overall performance was strong enough to convince A Bol that he would get an advantage over Rafael Guerreiro from Benfica, who himself replaced the injured Nuna Mendes.
Meanwhile, the same source and Correio de Manha report that former United player Cristiano Ronaldo may face the axe after another unsuccessful performance against the Koreans.
“It’s time to ask if Ronaldo should start,” A Bola declares, while Correio says that “there are limits.”
“The Portuguese Football Federation does not want to destabilize the national team,” the statement said.
“[But] no one ignores the fact that Cristiano Ronaldo’s anger was directed against [manager] Fernando Santos.
“The coach was the captain’s most loyal defender… but there are limits.
“The figures show that Cristiano Ronaldo at the age of 38 can no longer play the way he used to, despite his desire.”
Correio notes that the 37-year-old registered only two shots out of nine on target, lost the ball 10 times, “did not create a single scoring moment and, conversely, missed three great moments.”
It is also noted that he was the player most often offside in all the group stages of the World Cup, and that he received the dubious honor of being named in the worst XI of the group stage.
Whether Santos will be able to risk upsetting his captain, as well as the entire nation, by dropping him remains to be seen. This, of course, would not be in the spirit, but perhaps, as two publications say, enough is enough.
However, it is much easier for Dalot to make a decision, and the United star can still play an important role in his country’s quest for glory.