Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo runs with the ball. Image Credit: AFP

Doha: Cristiano Ronaldo equalled the men's international world record of 196 selections when he came on as a substitute for Portugal in the second half of their World Cup quarter-final against Morocco.

Ronaldo, 37, who had started a second consecutive match on the bench, equalled the record set by Kuwait international Bader Al-Mutawa.

Ronaldo, playing in his fifth and likely final World Cup, had also started on the bench and then came on as a substitute for the round-of-16 match against Switzerland.

Gonçalo Ramos, who scored a hat trick on Tuesday in Portugal's 6-1 win over Switzerland on his first start for Portugal, was again selected ahead of Ronaldo.

He was left out of the lineup against the Swiss after coach Fernando Santos expressed frustration about his team captain’s attitude in the previous game.

Santos later said Ronaldo was “not happy” to be told he was being benched, but never threatened to leave the World Cup because of the decision.

Ronaldo, the all-time leading scorer in men's international soccer with 118 goals, eventually came in as a replacement in the 74th minute. He had looked somewhat disconnected from the rest of the squad after the match, and had already shown a poor attitude after being substituted in the last group game against South Korea.

Ronaldo was coming off lackluster performances in the group stage, though he scored in the 3-2 win against Ghana to become the first player to score in five World Cups. He has played in every edition of the tournament since 2006.

Portugal's other starters against Morocco at Al Thumama Stadium included João Félix, Bernardo Silva, Bruno Fernandes and Otávio.

Portugal is trying to make it to the last four for the third time, having finished third in 1966 and fourth in 2006. It hadn't gotten past the round of 16 since that tournament in Germany 16 years ago.