Former Portugal coach Fernando Santos has confessed that his relationship with Cristiano Ronaldo has not been restored since the Round of 16 at the last World Cup.굿모닝토토
“Santos said he hasn’t spoken to Ronaldo since the World Cup,” Spanish media outlet Marca reported on Sept. 9 (ET). Santos is known for his decision to bench Ronaldo from the round of 16 at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
“I would make the same decision now. It was a strategic decision. We have to think about the team first. Tactically, it was the best decision. As you know, the technical team and I discussed it. It was a deliberate decision,” he recalled.
At the time, Portugal finished first in Group H (South Korea second). Ronaldo started all three of their group games, but his performances were lackluster.
Santos made the bold decision to leave Ronaldo out of the lineup against Switzerland in the round of 16. Instead, Santos started Goncalo Higuain, a rising star at the time, as his starting striker. Hamus is a forward who currently plays alongside Lee Kang-in at Paris Saint-Germain. Ronaldo was left speechless as Hamus scored a hat trick and Portugal won 6-1.
Portugal went into the quarterfinals against Morocco unbeaten. The Moroccans, the surprise team of the tournament, defeated Portugal 1-0 to advance to the quarterfinals. Ronaldo came on as a second-half substitute but had no impact on the game.
Santos said: “He had some personal problems. I still believed in him. We were the favorites. If we had beaten Morocco and caught France, then I could have put Ronaldo in the best 11,” he said, adding that he would have used him in bigger games.
“Anyway, in terms of the rhythm of the game, Ronaldo was the worst, he had no rhythm,” says Santos. We tried to find his rhythm, but it was difficult. When I told him he wasn’t starting, he misunderstood my decision. Maybe one day we will look at each other and let go of our feelings.”