Ronaldo can't stop smiling during training for showdown with Morocco - in pictures

Portugal target World Cup semi-final spot in Saturday's match at Al Thumama Stadium

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Cristiano Ronaldo looked at ease as he trained for Portugal's World Cup quarter-final against Morocco, even though the spotlight is currently firmly focused on him.

It has been a tenuous few weeks for the veteran forward. First there was the acrimonious exit from Manchester United after an explosive TV interview with Piers Morgan where he said he had no respect for manager Erik ten Hag.

Then, he was dropped from the team against Switzerland in the round of 16, which led to talk of Ronaldo threatening to quit the squad.

Manager Fernando Santos said that while the veteran was not happy about the situation, he did not want to leave.

Ronaldo’s replacement Gonçalo Ramos scored a hat-trick in 6-1 win on what was his full debut. The all-time leading scorer for Portugal came off the bench in the 74th minute.

“Cristiano obviously was not very happy about it. He told me ‘Do you really think it’s a good idea?’” Santos said.

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

Portugal take on Morocco – the surprise package of World Cup 2022 – at Al Thumama Stadium on Saturday from 7pm UAE time.

Check out the best photos from Friday's training session in the gallery above. To move on to the next photo, click on the arrows or swipe if using a mobile device.

Updated: December 10, 2022, 6:04 AM