Substitute Ronaldo, Santos is justified

Fernando Santos explained his decision not to start Cristiano Ronaldo against Switzerland (6-1) on Tuesday in the round of 16 of the 2022 World Cup. The Portugal coach refutes the thesis of a sanction against Switzerland. 37-year-old striker.

It was a choice that caused a stir and stirred the football world. For the round of 16 World Cup 2022 against Switzerland on Tuesday, Portugal coach Fernando Santos did not start Cristiano Ronaldo. The manager of the 2016 European champions preferred to give a chance to Gonçalo Ramos, the young striker of Benfica Lisbon. A strong decision that paid off. For his fourth selection and his first tenure with the Portuguese jersey, the 21-year-old player offered himself a hat-trick against the Nati (6-1) and allowed the Lusitanians to win their qualification for the quarter-finals, next Saturday against Morocco.

“Cristiano remains a very important player”

Facing the media after the demonstration of his players, Fernando Santos returned to the absence in his eleven of “CR7”, entered in the 73rd minute of play in place of Joao Félix. The 68-year-old technician said the former Manchester United player has not been sanctioned and that his relationship with the five-time Ballon d’Or winner remains very friendly. “I have a very close relationship with him. This relationship does not change. Neither he nor I confused the human question with the question of the coach and the player. In my opinion, Cristiano remains a very important player for the Portuguese team.

Fernando Santos does not doubt the involvement of the native of Funchal, for whom his behavior was praised when he entered the game. “We are going to have to analyze the opponent well and make the decisions that we think are the best from a strategic point of view, which is what led to this change for this match. The subject has been sanitized and you have to look at the example of this extraordinary player, for me the best in the world. The way he celebrated the goals, the way he came in, with huge envy.