‘Do you really think it’s a good idea’, Cristiano Ronaldo asked Santos about not starting him against Morocco
Portugal’s manager, Fernando Santos, has revealed the conversation he had with Cristiano Ronaldo prior to the match against Morocco.
Ronaldo who was dropped to the bench by Portugal manager for the quarter-final clash against Morocco, was also left out of the starting XI against Switzerland on Tuesday.
Earlier this week, Santos revealed the conversation he had with Ronaldo about being dropped to the bench.
“I spoke to him after lunch on the day of the game and invited him into my office,” he explained.
“For obvious reasons Cristiano was not very happy about it as he has always been the starting player.
“He told me: ‘Do you really think it’s a good idea?’
“But we had a normal conversation in which I explained my viewpoints and of course he accepted them. We had a frank and normal conversation.”
Ronaldo’s Partner, Georgina Rodriguez, blamed the manager’s decision for Portugal’s misfortune in the encounter, saying it was a wrong decision.
A distraught Cristiano Ronaldo headed down the Al Thumama Stadium tunnel in tears after Portugal fell to a 1-0 defeat to underdogs Morocco in a pulsating World Cup quarter-final clash.
Walid Regragui’s side, who have conceded just one goal at this year’s tournament, made history on Saturday by becoming the first African nation to reach the semi-finals of a World Cup.
In the 43rd minute, Youssef En-Nesyri headed home a Yahia Attiyat Allah cross to give Morocco a deserved lead.
And that physics-defying leap was enough to give them the biggest win in their history. After the full-time whistle, Portugal’s main man, Cristiano Ronaldo, was seen in tears as he walked off the pitch.
It was heartbreak for the 37-year-old forward on what could well be his last appearance at a World Cup.
Ronaldo, who is the all-time men’s leading scorer in international football, can look back at his Portugal career with pride. He lifted the European Championship trophy in 2016 after beating France.
And the former Real Madrid and Manchester United forward says he isn’t done just yet. Back in September, he said he hopes to play again for his national team at Euro 2024.
“It has been a long road, but I would like to say that my road is not over yet,” he told ESPN.
“I hope to be part of the Federation for a few more years. I still feel motivated; my ambition is high. I’m in a team with young people. I want to be part of this World Cup and the European too; I’m going to assume that right away.”
Morocco, meanwhile, will face either France or England on Wednesday for a place in the World Cup final. What a story that would be.
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