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Wednesday 7th June 2023 / 18 Zulkaedah 1444

Portugal coach doesn’t regret leaving Ronaldo out against Morocco

FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 - Quarter Final - Morocco v Portugal - Al Thumama Stadium, Doha, Qatar - December 10, 2022 Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo and coach Fernando Santos look dejected after the match as Portugal are eliminated from the World Cup REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

Portugal manager Fernando Santos said that he would not change his decision of leaving Cristiano Ronaldo on the bench even after his team was knocked-out from the World Cup due to a 1-0 defeat against Morocco in their quarter-final clash on Saturday.

Portugal’s all-time leading goal scorer with 118 goals in 195 appearances, Ronaldo was benched for Tuesday’s 6-1 win over Switzerland in the last 16 where the 21-year-old Ramos scored three in only his fourth appearance.

Ronaldo stormed off the pitch after the final whistle crying effusively while being comforted by his teammates.

“I do not regret (leaving Ronaldo on the bench),” coach Santos told a news conference on Saturday.

Also read: List of FIFA World Cup winners since 1930

“It wouldn’t change anything; in terms of the team, I can’t be thinking with my heart.

“I used the team that played really well against Switzerland and there was no reason to change it (against Morocco).

“The strategic decision that I had to make was one of the hardest, but I can’t think with my heart, I have to think with my head.

“Sometimes in football what you need is a little bit of luck,” Santos said.

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