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Cristiano Ronaldo is now a social media footballer - Kevin Kilbane

Cristiano Ronaldo gives the influencers at the World Cup something to celebrate, but he's not particularly valuable as a footballer now.



Former Ireland footballer Kevin Kilbane joined Joe Molloy on The Football Show to discuss Cristiano Ronaldo.

Portugal annihilated Switzerland on Tuesday night.

Goncalo Ramos gave Portugal the lead and then went on to score a hattrick. But that wasn't the only story that Ramos was a central figure in. The Benfica striker replaced Cristiano Ronaldo in the starting lineup. He was under huge pressure and so was the head coach of the team.

Ronaldo infamously has behaved very poorly since being benched at Manchester United. He behaved somewhat last night, though he often looked like one of Switzerland's subs rather than his jubilant teammates.

Kevin Kilbane was in the stadium and he doesn't think Ronaldo is reconciling his reality right now.

"He's probably at this stage now a good sub for Portugal," Kilbane said.

"He'll never ever get that in his head, he'll never ever feel that. I was at the game last night, the second-biggest cheer last night was when Ronaldo warmed up in the second half. The biggest cheer was when Ronaldo came on the pitch.

"There's still this fixation of 'Ronaldo is coming onto the pitch' and he buys into that himself. That's what he wants, the huge cheer."

The evidence of that game and the evidence of Manchester United all season long suggests that Ronaldo is not being hard done by. He doesn't deserve to start for Portugal anymore. He hasn't for a while after a poor group stage run.

But Ronaldo still serves a purpose to the fans who desperately want to take his picture and associate with his overwhelmingly large social media audience.

"Any true Portugal fan who watched that game last night could look me in the eye, have that conversation with me and tell me that Cristiano Ronaldo is good for Portugal at this World Cup as a starter? There's no way. Any football fan would understand it and say there's no way he's any good for that team.

"We clearly saw that last night.

"It was a bit of a sideshow, it was like a circus around Ronaldo last night. And that's the way it's going. All these fans are here. They're not real Portugal fans, they're not real football fans...just so many people who wanted to tag Ronaldo on their Instagram account or on their twitter account."

Cristiano Ronaldo, the tourist attraction. A social media footballer.

Morocco are a nightmare to play against.

 

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