| 22 May 2024, Wednesday |

Portugal coach does not regret leaving Ronaldo out v Morocco

Portugal manager Fernando Santos said that he would not change his decision of leaving Cristiano Ronaldo on the bench even after his team was knocked-out from the World Cup due to a 1-0 defeat against Morocco in their quarter-final clash on Saturday.

Portugal’s all-time leading goal scorer with 118 goals in 195 appearances, Ronaldo was benched for Tuesday’s 6-1 win over Switzerland in the last 16 where the 21-year-old Ramos scored three in only his fourth appearance.

Ronaldo stormed off the pitch after the final whistle crying effusively while being comforted by his team mates.

“I do not regret (leaving Ronaldo on the bench),” coach Santos told a news conference on Saturday.

“It wouldn’t change anything, in terms of the team I can’t be thinking with my heart.

“I used the team that played really well against Switzerland and there was no reason to change it (against Morocco).

“It’s not that Ronaldo is no longer a great player, that has nothing to do with it.”

Morocco’s Atlas Lions extended their dream run and roared into the history books by becoming the first-ever African and Arab country to reach the final four of the tournament thanks to a Youssef En-Nesyri goal in the first-half.

  • Reuters