12/11/22, 2:03 PM
After Portugal's surprise World Cup exit at the hands of Morocco, Fernando Santos has defended his decision to remove Cristiano Ronaldo from the starting lineup once more.
After being left out of Portugal's 6-1 victory over Switzerland in the round of 16, Santos benched Ronaldo once more for the quarterfinal match.
Santos got Ronaldo off the seat both matches however the 37-year-old couldn't make an unequivocal commitment and presently looks set to end his vocation without a solitary World Cup knockout objective in his possession.
As his Portugal teammates consoled one another on the field and the Moroccan players celebrated shortly after the final whistle, Ronaldo left the field in tears and made his way down the tunnel.
Inquired as to whether he had committed an error in sidelining Portugal's record-breaking driving goalscorer, Santos answered: " I doubt it, and I have 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 myself. Of course we are upset, but that is part of the job of the coach and the player."
Ronaldo's 38th birthday is just two months away, so it seems unlikely that he will play in another World Cup. He may look back on this tournament as a missed opportunity.
He also doesn't play for a team right now because his second stint at Manchester United came to an ugly end last month. In a contentious interview with Piers Morgan, Ronaldo criticized the club's players, manager, and hierarchy, prompting a mutual termination of his contract.
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