Portugal coach Fernando Santos has said he would not change his decision to leave Cristiano Ronaldo on the bench even after his team was eliminated from the Qatar 2022 World Cup due to a 1-0 defeat against Morocco in the match their quarterfinals.
Portugal’s all-time top scorer with 118 goals in 195 appearances, Ronaldo was benched for Tuesday’s 6-1 win over Switzerland in the round of 18, with 21-year-old Ramos scoring a hat-trick in just his fourth appearance.
Santos decided to hand Ramos a starting shirt again in today’s (Saturday) game against Morocco, leaving Ronaldo back on the bench.
After the 1-0 defeat by Morocco, Ronaldo left the pitch after the final whistle crying profusely as he was comforted by his team-mates.
“I don’t regret leaving Ronaldo on the bench”, coach Santos initially said after the defeat by Morocco.
“It wouldn’t change anything, as far as the team is concerned, I can’t think with my heart.”
“I used the team that played very well against Switzerland and there was no reason to change it against Morocco.”
“The strategic decision I had to make was one of the most difficult, but I can’t think with my heart, I have to think with my head.”
“It’s not that Ronaldo is no longer a great player, that has nothing to do with him,” concluded the Portugal coach.