Cristiano Ronaldo walks off on his own as his team-mates celebrate 6-1 thrashing of Switzerland

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Cristiano Ronaldo left the pitch alone on Tuesday night after Portugal’s stunning 6-1 victory over Switzerland, as his teammates continued to celebrate their stunning performance on the pitch.

The Portuguese captain made his own way to the dressing room after the game, after being let out of the starting line by coach Fernando Santos.

Portugal seemingly had no problems without the striker, with his side leading 5-1 in his absence after sitting on the bench in a knockout match for his country for the first time since 2008.

Cristiano Ronaldo left the field alone after the final whistle while his Portuguese teammates were still partying

Cristiano Ronaldo left the field alone after the final whistle while his Portuguese teammates were still partying

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner made his way through the tunnel after the final whistle

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner made his way through the tunnel after the final whistle

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner made his way through the tunnel after the final whistle

The former Manchester United star walked right past the media boards and film crews

The former Manchester United star walked right past the media boards and film crews

The former Manchester United star walked right past the media boards and film crews

In a clip released after the match where Portugal blow Switzerland away at Lusail Stadium, Portuguese players can be seen applauding on the pitch as they enjoy the cheers of their fans after a sensational performance.

But apart from his colleagues is Ronaldo, who slowly makes his way across the field to the Portuguese tunnel.

The 37-year-old leaves the field on his own, with his teammates in particular failing to join him as they cheer as a group.

Fernando Santos left the attacker out of play for the first time since 2008 at a major tournament

Fernando Santos left the attacker out of play for the first time since 2008 at a major tournament

Fernando Santos left the attacker out of play for the first time since 2008 at a major tournament

Ahead of kick-off, much of the talk of Portugal’s last 16 matches has naturally revolved around the five-time Ballon d’Or winner, while a debate raged over why he had been dropped from the side.

Ronaldo's entry onto the pitch was met with loud cheers from the crowd.

Ronaldo's entry onto the pitch was met with loud cheers from the crowd.

Ronaldo’s entry onto the pitch was met with loud cheers from the crowd.

Some – including Jamie Carragher – believed his omission was a result of his poor performance in the tournament to date.

Despite being the first male player to score in five World Cup tournaments, his only goal came from a dubious penalty against Ghana in the group stage.

But others have pointed to the fact that there appeared to be an altercation between Ronaldo and coach Santos when he was hooked against South Korea in Portugal’s final group stage match.

Santos left the player from his starting squad for just one day after insisting he ‘didn’t like’ the free agent’s angry reaction after being taken off in the 2-1 loss to Son Heung-min’s side .

Portugal made it clear that it would not struggle without the presence of arguably the greatest player in their long history.

Ronaldo’s absence may have made headlines, but his side were leading 5-1 when he came on in the 73rd minute of play.

Ronaldo's relegation to the bench for Portugal made headlines leading up to the game

Ronaldo's relegation to the bench for Portugal made headlines leading up to the game

Ronaldo’s relegation to the bench for Portugal made headlines leading up to the game

Goncalo Ramos in particular, the 21-year-old Benfica striker, looked to be thriving in the vacant striker position, scoring a hat-trick in just his first start in Portugal.

Pepe, Raphael Gurreiro and super-sub Rafael Leao scored the other three as Portugal rioted on Tuesday night.

Ahead of kick-off, the Portuguese captain was surrounded by numerous cameras and photographers as he sat on the Portuguese bench in a major knockout tournament for the first time in 14 years.

Fernando Santos admitted he 'didn't like' Ronaldo's reaction when he was substituted against South Korea

Fernando Santos admitted he 'didn't like' Ronaldo's reaction when he was substituted against South Korea

Fernando Santos admitted he ‘didn’t like’ Ronaldo’s reaction when he was substituted against South Korea

And his long-awaited entry into the match was heralded with loud cheers and chants of his name, the announcement of his name as he entered the field being celebrated as a goal in the stands.

There was speculation on social media that the legendary striker looked miserable on the bench throughout the game and failed to join his side’s celebrations in the first two goals from Ramos and Pepe.

But ITV pundit Gary Neville was quick to dispel those claims, saying: “There was a picture doing the rounds on social media in the first half that looked like he was miserable on the bench after getting the first two goals – but he celebrated like crazy when they scored the first two goals.

Gary Neville softened claims that Ronaldo sulked on the bench during the first half

Gary Neville softened claims that Ronaldo sulked on the bench during the first half

Gary Neville softened claims that Ronaldo sulked on the bench during the first half

“And to be honest, I did criticize him a bit for being sulky — he wasn’t grumbling.

“He joined Ramos and Pepe in cheering for both goals. On social media it seemed like he was miserable, but that’s not the case.’

Regardless of the reasons behind Ronaldo’s absence from the starting line-up, it is important for former Holland midfielder Nigel De Jong that the rest of the squad try to resolve the potential friction in the Portuguese camp.

“It is very important, especially with a player of that size in your selection,” said De Jong. “It’s not always a bit about what happens on the pitch, it’s also about what happens off the pitch and you have to keep that harmony and that atmosphere and he’s an influential figure in that squad so you have to keep him happy , you have to give him. minutes, and he was supposed to give him minutes.’

Nigel de Jong added that it was important to keep the 'harmony' within the Portuguese squad.

Nigel de Jong added that it was important to keep the 'harmony' within the Portuguese squad.

Nigel de Jong added that it was important to keep the ‘harmony’ within the Portuguese squad.

“Ultimately it’s not about the individual anymore, he has to think about the team process. I think the next few days will be really crucial for him and the Portuguese team to go through to the quarter-finals.

“How will he put himself there, will he be the leader, will he be the captain everyone is talking about?”