Qatar World Cup: Day of destiny for France, England, Morocco and Portugal

AP - Martin Meissner

After the shocking Quarter Finals on "Fantastic Friday," with Croatia beating Brazil and the Netherlands sent off by Argentina, will the last eight games between Portugal and Morocco as well as England and France bring us a "Sizzling Saturday"? A "Scintillating Saturday? "Super Saturday" seems plain humdrum really.

Whatever the hyperbole, the two games offer up an extravaganza of intrigue.

Morocco and Portugal begin the excitement at the Al Thumama Stadium with the possibility to witness another chapter in a meteoric rise and an ignominious fall.

Benched for his petulance after being substituted during the final group stage match against South Korea, 37-year-old Portugal skipper Cristiano Ronaldo watched from the touchline as his 21-year-old replacement Gonçalo Ramos scored a hat trick and set up one goal in the 6-1 annihilation of Switzerland in the last-16.

Ronaldo was eventually thrown into the action in the 74th minute when Portugal were 5-1 up.

Tenderness

After disciplining his pouting star striker, Portugal boss Fernando Santos turned protector.

The 68-year-old denied reports that Ronaldo threatened to quit the Portugal camp after being demoted from the starting line-up.

“Cristiano obviously was not very happy about it," explained Santos.

“He never told me that he wanted to leave the national team. It is time we stopped with the controversies. He celebrated all the goals that we scored.


Read more on RFI English

Read also:
Cutting through red tape to buy red wine at Qatar's World Cup
Qatar World Cup: 5 things we learned on Day 17 - Morocco roll and Swiss rolled
Qatar World Cup: 5 things we learned on Day 16 - banners and gripes