Shijal ChudasamaDecember 7, 2022

Christiano Ronaldo was dropped to bench, role 'to be defined', coach says

Christiano Ronaldo was dropped to bench, role 'to be defined', coach says

After leaving out his captain for yesterday's victory over Switzerland in the round of 16, Portugal manager Fernando Santos stated that Cristiano Ronaldo's role for the remainder of the World Cup needed to be "defined."

Ronaldo did not make the starting lineup for Spain's match against Switzerland, in which they crushed the opposition 6-1.

In the victory, his 21-year-old replacement scored a hat trick, a performance that is certain to cast doubt on Ronaldo's future with his country.

When asked about Ronaldo, Santos responded, "That still needs to be defined."

"I've known him since he was 19 years old, and we've always had a really tight relationship."

"Ronaldo and I only ever perceive our relationship in terms of what we must do during the game; it never takes a human-to-human approach. He is a crucial player for the team to have, and I will always keep that in mind when performing my job."

Santos responded to a direct query about whether Ronaldo will suit up against Morocco on Saturday: "All of the bench players can be used, even if they are not in the starting lineup; Ronaldo will undoubtedly be part."

"It's crucial to consider this player's past; he's one of the best in the world at playing professionally, and he's the captain. All we have to do is consider this team as a whole," said the captain.

Cristiano Ronaldo dropped to bench

After Portugal decided they could be better off without Cristiano Ronaldo, following Manchester United's lead, he was demoted to the status of the superstar no one wanted.

And they were better off without him, as Portugal's coach Fernando Santos was rewarded for his bravery in benching his nation's sporting icon with a comprehensive attacking performance and a 6-1 victory against Switzerland, setting up a World Cup quarterfinal matchup against Morocco.

Portugal did what was previously unthinkable - at least going back as far as 31 games and before Euro 2008 - and ditched him from a starting line-up at a major tournament. It has been a trying time for the 37-year-old Ronaldo's considerable pride and ego. First, his Manchester United career ended in strife following public criticism of the club.

The boldest selection decision made at this World Cup and the largest in Santos' eight years as Portugal's coach.

Cristiano Ronaldo dropped to bench
Christiano Ronaldo benched

Cristiano Ronaldo hailed his Portugal teammates after they put on an incredible effort to destroy Switzerland and advance to the World Cup quarterfinals.

After having his contract with Manchester United terminated last month, Ronaldo is currently without a club. He is apparently on the verge of deciding to sign with Saudi Arabian club Al Nassr, who are prepared to give him a staggering £173 million annually.


Santos has grown frustrated with the media's focus on Ronaldo and his potential new team since he has had to answer inquiries regarding the future of his star striker in the run-up to the game.

The Portugal manager responded to the question on Monday with, "I don't know; I haven't talked to him about it.
"I've talked to the players, but it's not related to this problem," I said. He was completely unaware; he only now became aware. He decides and asks the inquiry. He is totally concentrated on the World Cup, on helping the team."

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