Cristiano Ronaldo, 37, is probably playing in his last World Cup, and the football star might have a chance to lift the trophy for Portugal when the team plays against Morocco Saturday.

Portugal faced Switzerland in the final Round of 16 match of the ongoing FIFA World Cup in Qatar on Tuesday, but there was no Ronaldo in Portugal’s line-up. The star, who started in all three group stage matches for Portugal, was dropped to the bench by their manager Fernando Santos. He was not only dropped from the starting line-up, but Goncalo Ramos, 21, replaced him and he scored an impressive hat trick, reported the Associated Press.

Opening up about his decision to drop Ronaldo for the important knockout match, Santos said that the two players are "different," and that there is "no problem with the captain of the national team." He called it a "strategic" move to not have Ronaldo in the starting line-up. The manager had earlier expressed his unhappiness with Ronaldo's reaction to being suspended in the final group stage game against South Korea. But he said that had no impact on his decision.

Ronaldo was seen walking off the field alone at Lusail Stadium and leaving the rest of the Portugal team to celebrate getting through to the quarterfinals after defeating Switzerland on Tuesday.

The last few weeks have been turbulent for Ronaldo. First came the bombshell interview with TV personality Piers Morgan that shaped the beginning of his fifth World Cup campaign then the fallout, which included his contract at Manchester United getting terminated. When the World Cup started, he broke a record. He became the first male player to score at five different World Cups, and then he gave underwhelming performances. He failed to score in back-to-back games.

On Tuesday, he played around 20 minutes as a substitute. Still, Santos called Ronaldo "one of the best players in the world, both professionally and as a captain" But he added that they have to just "think about this team collectively."

Now Portugal is gearing up for the quarterfinal match against Morocco Saturday, and things might change for good for Ronaldo.

Cristiano Ronaldo
This is a representational image. Photo by Thomas Eisenhuth/Getty Images

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