Cristiano Ronaldo’s anger management will be tested on Saturday when Portugal entertains Uruguay at the Fisht Stadium.
The captain of the European champions is one booking away from suspension. Cristiano avoided a debatable red card on Matchday 3 after elbowing Morteza Pouraliganji in the second half of a clash which became dramatic and chaotic due to VAR technology.
At the 2018 FIFA World Cup, the yellow cards count is then reset to zero at the quarter-finals stage. However, accumulating two yellow cards between the group stages and the Round of 16 results in a ban from the Last 8.
This is the situation in which Ronaldo finds himself right now. The 33-year-old veteran will want to be smart against Luis Suarez’s Uruguayans on Saturday as Portugal eye victory in the Last 16 of the tournament. Keeping his cool would be the number one priority — more important than performing individually, as long as the rest of the team steps up for the win.
Under Fernando Santos and with Cristiano Ronaldo in the line-up, the Seleccao have built a 32-match unbeaten streak. Should the Portuguese overcome Uruguay’s challenge in the Last 16, they will face either France or Argentina in the quarter-finals.
The supposed absence of Cristiano would deeply hurt the team’s chances. It must be noted that the last time the skipper of the side was absent from a competitive game for Portugal, they lost. That was on Matchday 1 of the UEFA World Cup qualifiers against current Last 16 finalists, Switzerland.
Other Portuguese players prone to a quarter-finals suspension are Adrien, Bruno Fernandes, Cedric, Guerreiro, and Ronaldo’s partner in crime, Quaresma. Advantage Uruguay?