Cristiano Ronaldo: Portugal Boss Finally Reveals Why He Benched Striker vs Switzerland

Cristiano Ronaldo: Portugal Boss Finally Reveals Why He Benched Striker vs Switzerland

  • Head coach Fernando Santos left fans shocked after he benched Cristiano Ronaldo against Switzerland in the World Cup round of 16
  • It was initially believed that Santos decided to drop Ronaldo after he appeared to sulk when he was subbed off against South Korea
  • Santos started Goncalo Ramos ahead of Ronaldo against Switzerland, and the decision paid off as the youngster netted a hat-trick

Portugal boss Fernando Santos has finally disclosed why he benched Cristiano Ronaldo during their World Cup cracker against Switzerland.

Santos relegated Ronaldo to the bench during the Tuesday night encounter, with the tactician starting youngster Goncalo Ramos ahead of the veteran striker.

The former Manchester United forward was only introduced in the match with just 17 minutes left as Pepe paved the way for him.

Fernando Santos, Portugal, Cristiano Ronaldo, FIFA World Cup, Qatar 2022, Round of 16, Switzerland, Lusail Stadium, Goncalo Ramos.
Fernando Santos speaks with Cristiano Ronaldo during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Round of 16 match between Portugal and Switzerland at Lusail Stadium. Photo by Justin Setterfield.
Source: Getty Images

According to Metro UK, it was believed that Santos overlooked his star player after he appeared to sulk after he was subbed off during their defeat to South Korea in their last group game.

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Santos explains Ronaldo decision

However, Santos has disclosed that the move to bench Ronaldo was tactical, insisting there is no bad blood between him and the five-time Ballon d'Or winner.

"Cristiano and Ramos are different players. There is no problem with the captain of the national team," he said.

"It was strategic. Players are different. I also started [Diogo] Dalot, Raphael [Guerreiro], however [Joao] Cancelo is a fabulous player.
"That’s what I thought for the game against Switzerland, in another game it might be different," he added.

Incredibly, Santos' decision to start Ramos paid off, with the youngster netting a hattrick to inspire Portugal to a 6-1 win over Switzerland.

Portugal is now set to play Morocco in the quarterfinals, with a spot in the semis at stake.

Ronaldo speaks on Al Nassr move

Earlier, Sports Brief reported Cristiano Ronaldo has finally opened up about rumours linking him with a multi-million move to Saudi club Al Nassr.

The Portuguese, who is currently a free agent, was recently rumoured to have agreed a deal worth £173m per season with the Middle East club.

Ronaldo was rendered clubless in November after Manchester United terminated his contract with a few months left on it.

Source: Sports Brief News