Following Portugal’s World Cup elimination, Fernando Santos has no regret about benching Cristiano Ronaldo from the starting lineup.
For Portugal’s quarterfinal match against Morocco, Ronaldo again started on the bench and came on in place of Ruben Neves in the 51st minute. Sadly, unlike their last-16 match, which Portugal won 6-1 against Switzerland without their talisman in the starting lineup, Portugal was eliminated from the World Cup after their 1-0 loss to Morocco. However, coach Fernando Santos insisted that he did not regret leaving out Ronaldo and said that the 37-year-old was only brought into the match when it was absolutely essential.
Talking to reporters post match, the Portugal National Football Team head coach Santos said, “I don’t think so, no regrets. I think this was a team which played very well against Switzerland.” He further told, “Cristiano Ronaldo is a great player, he came in when we thought it was necessary, so no regrets.”
On Saturday, Ronaldo made his 196th appearance for Portugal, tying Badr Al-Mutawa for most male players to compete in 196 international matches. As a result of parting company with Manchester United in November, Ronaldo is currently without a club. Al-Nassr in Saudi Arabia is said to have made him an offer, although he has not yet decided.