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Cristiano Ronaldo could be recalled to Portugal in the starting XI against Morocco but the Europeans have warned they would ‘be crazy’ not to stick with Goncalo Ramos after the World Cup treble.


It is claimed that Cristiano Ronaldo could return to Portugal’s starting XI for Saturday’s World Cup quarter-final tie against Morocco.

Manager Fernando Santos raised his eyebrows – and annoyed Ronaldo’s girlfriend and sister – by dropping the superstar to the bench for their final meeting with Switzerland and starting 21-year-old Goncalo Ramos instead, and it paid off as the Benfica ace scored. a triple.

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Ronaldo was benched in the Round of 16 but could return for Portugal’s quarter-final

Ramos announced himself on the world stage with a fine hat-trick on his first-ever start for Portugal

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Ramos announced himself on the world stage with a fine hat-trick on his first-ever start for Portugal

More than his goals, however, Ramos was credited with completely changing the way Portugal played against the Swiss as they produced what is being hailed as the tournament’s best team performance so far.

So it would be a surprise if Santos decides to switch back to Ronaldo for their round of 16 draw against a strong Moroccan side who have only conceded once in Qatar – and it was an own goal – and are looking to become the first African team to reach the semi-finals of the World Cup.

However, it is widely claimed in Portugal that CR7 could be set to return to the starting lineup, as coach Santos looks to use his aerial ability to bombard Morocco from the air.

That’s according to European football expert Andy Brassell, who told talkSPORT that Ronaldo could be back for Saturday’s clash.

However, he thinks that would be a very bad idea.

“What’s interesting about all the talk leading up to the game in Portugal is that there’s a school of thought that Cristiano Ronaldo will be called up for this game,” Brassell told Weekend Sports Breakfast.

Ronaldo has scored one goal in four Qatar appearances - his strike against Ghana saw him become the first man to score in five World Cups

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Ronaldo has scored one goal in four Qatar appearances – his strike against Ghana saw him become the first man to score in five World Cups

“Which immediately strikes us as amazing, doesn’t it? Because this kid came along and completely changed the way Portugal played.

“It wasn’t just his goals, although the goals showed what we who watched Portuguese football always knew about Ramos. He’s an instinctive finisher and can score a wide variety of goals, he played a bit as a No.10 last season and that has evolved into his full game.

“He got the best out of Joao Felix, he got the best out of Bruno Fernandes and you could see as a group that Portugal were threatening in a way that I can’t think they are in recent memory. , really.

“But the theory is that Ronaldo has rested and is really good in the air, and maybe that’s how Morocco will open up.

“I really hope, for their own good, that they don’t go for this.

“If you look at the momentum they had in that game against Switzerland, which I think is hands down the best team performance of the tournament.

Ramos did more than score three goals for Portugal, he completely changed the way they play

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Ramos did more than score three goals for Portugal, he completely changed the way they play

But it's claimed Ronaldo will return to Portugal's starting XI in place of the 21-year-old

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But it’s claimed Ronaldo will return to Portugal’s starting XI in place of the 21-year-old

“They were absolutely great and they played with such energy, it’s a completely different proposition to what Morocco faced against Spain, when they knew that if they got behind the ball they would Spain had 82% possession and got a shot on target, which says it all.

“If Portugal play with the same kind of vigor they had against Switzerland, it would be very difficult for Morocco to contain.

“I said at the start of the tournament that Portugal had the players to win this World Cup, but they wouldn’t come close to it.

“I’m surprised how far they’ve come, especially when you look at how terrible they were in that first game against Ghana, where the individual talent of some of their players got them out of a tough spot.

“Now they are moving in symphony, I think they would be crazy to walk away from that.”

Tune in to talkSPORT for live commentary from Morocco v Portugal in the World Cup quarter-finals, kick-off 3pm GMT

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