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'No regrets' - Portugal boss Santos sticks by decision to drop Cristiano Ronaldo during World Cup

18:08 GMT+3 11/12/2022
20221210 Cristiano Ronaldo Fernando Santos
Fernando Santos has no regrets over dropping Cristiano Ronaldo from the starting lineup after Portugal's exit from the World Cup.
  • Santos has no regrets
  • Ronaldo dropped for second consecutive game
  • Portugal out of World Cup

WHAT HAPPENED? Cristiano Ronaldo once again started on the bench for Portugal's quarter-final tie against Morocco and was introduced in the 51st minute in place of Ruben Neves. Unfortunately, unlike their last-16 tie where Portugal won 6-1 against Switzerland without their talisman in the starting lineup, the quarter-final encounter saw Portugal crash out of the World Cup after a 1-0 defeat against Morocco.

Coach Fernando Santos, though, maintained that he does not regret dropping Ronaldo and suggested that the 37-year-old was introduced into the game when it was necessary.

WHAT THEY SAID: Speaking to reporters after the match, Santos said, "I don't think so, no regrets. I think this was a team which played very well against Switzerland. Cristiano Ronaldo is a great player, he came in when we thought it was necessary, so no regrets.

"If we take two persons that were the most upset it is Cristiano Ronaldo and me. Of course, we are upset, but that is part of the job of the coach and the player."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Ronaldo made his 196th appearance for Portugal on Saturday and thereby equalled Badr Al-Mutawa's record of having the most number of international caps for a male player.


WHAT NEXT FOR RONALDO? Ronaldo is currently without a club after parting ways with Manchester United in November. He reportedly has an offer from Saudi Arabian club Al-Nassr but he is yet to make a decision.