Friday, June 21, 2024
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Ex-Portugal Boss Lifts Lid On Benching Ronaldo At Qatar WC

Former Portugal boss Fernando Santos has revealed why he benched Cristiano Ronaldo at the World Cup in Qatar.

Former Portugal national team coach Fernando Santos has finally lifted the lid on why he benched Cristiano Ronaldo at the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner has enjoyed an excellent career for his country, as he has made a staggering 205 appearances for Portugal, scoring a record 128 goals – which is the most by any men’s international player.

The 38-year-old has appeared at five World Cups betweeen 2006 and 2022, which is the joint most alongside his arch-rival Lionel Messi, Germany legend Lothar Matthäus, and Mexico’s Rafael Marquez.

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The Al Nassr striker certainly had a tournament to forget in Qatar, as he only scored one goal in five matches before his side were shockingly dumped out of the competition by Morocco.

Having started all three groupstage games against Ghana, Uruguay, and South Korea, Ronaldo was dropped by Santos in the round of 16 clash against Switzerland and the side claimed a 6-1 win, with the forward’s replacement Goncalo Ramos netting a hat-trick on the night.

Santos, who has now been appointed the head coach of Turkish giants Besiktas, has explained why he dropped the Real Madrid legend at the World Cup.

“It was a tactical and technical decision and there was no other situation,” the tactician explained, according to Goal.

“Strategic decisions are always the most important things for me. I had to make these decisions and I made them correctly. If we had not been eliminated from the World Cup, there would have been no problem.

 “I told him that he was not going to start in the Round of 16. He was not happy with the conversation, as is normal. But I assure you that he never wanted to leave.”

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