Ronaldo told he is no longer Portugal’s ‘best player’ as new star takes title

Bernardo Silva has been named Portugal’s best player despite Cristiano Ronaldo continuing to deliver for his country.

Ronaldo’s 206 appearances makes him their most capped player ever, he is also their all-time top scorer with 128 goals, and after a poor World Cup, he’s back in great form for Portugal.

Ronaldo has been deemed as Portugal's best player for years

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Ronaldo has been deemed as Portugal’s best player for yearsCredit: Getty

Despite being 39-years old, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner is still an integral part of the national team.

However, while he is still regarded as one of the greatest players ever, his qualities may no longer be the best that Portugal has to offer.

Instead, it’s Manchester City star Silva who is seen as their best player, according to European football expert Andy Brassell.

Speaking on Kick Off about Portugal’s immense crop of talent, he said: “Roberto Martinez does have options.

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“But because there’s so much quality in that Portuguese squad, I think people understand if he takes those options.

“I think Cristiano Ronaldo realises now that sometimes he’ll start, and sometimes he’ll be a squad player and that is just what he’s going to have to live with.

“It’s interesting because to even think about criticising Ronaldo two or three years ago would have been treated as complete heresy in Portugal.

“Whereas now, I think people understand that Bernardo Silva is their best player.”

Despite his quality, a new star may have taken the title from Ronaldo

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Despite his quality, a new star may have taken the title from RonaldoCredit: Getty
Brassell says Silva can now be called Portugal's best player

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Brassell says Silva can now be called Portugal’s best playerCredit: AFP

Silva is a key player for both club and country, having won the treble with City and played at three major tournaments for Portugal.

The 29-year-old has scored 11 goals in 88 international appearances and started all-but one of their five matches at the 2022 World Cup.

Cristiano Ronaldo shows off his limited-edition Ferrari that he’s added to his £19million car collection

In comparison, Ronaldo was named in the starting XI three times in Qatar, with former boss Fernando Santos dropping him for their win over Switzerland.

However, since Martinez replaced Santos, the Al Nassr star has scored ten goals and played every game bar two.

Manchester City defender Joao Cancelo, currently on loan at Barcelona, suggested Portugal no longer rely on Ronaldo in a recent interview.

Speaking to Portuguese radio station RTP, Cancelo said: “He is an important player and spent 15 years competing with Messi for the Ballon d’Or, but the peak of a footballer’s career is between the ages of 25 and 32.

“He is an important player for us, but the national team does not depend entirely on him.”

Ronaldo is one of a number of talented players available for selection, with Bruno Fernandes, Joao Felix and Goncalo Ramos joining Silva as key attacking stars.

But despite Silva emerging as Portugal’s best player, Martinez is almost certain to start Ronaldo at Euro 2024, which could be the footballing icon’s last major tournament.

He is set to travel to Germany with Portugal this summer for what will be his sixth appearance in the competition.

They will face Turkey, Georgia and the Czech Republic in Group F as they look to repeat their triumph in 2016.

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Ronaldo returned to action on Tuesday night in a 2-0 defeat to Slovenia, having been rested for Portugal’s 5-2 win over Sweden last week.

After a quiet night, he was seen raging at full-time, storming down the tunnel and gesturing angrily at the officials near to him.

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