Portugal grew to become the most recent sufferer of Morocco’s dream run on the 2022 FIFA World Cup as they have been surprised within the quarter-final tie on Saturday on the Al Thumama Stadium in Doha. Youssef En-Nesyri’s stunner within the first half remained the only distinction within the match as Portugal’s hope of reaching the World Cup semi-final for the second time in historical past got here crashing down. Portugal supervisor Fernando Santos was immensely criticised for benching celebrity Cristiano Ronaldo within the essential match, however had a two-word reply for the critics after the heartbreaking World Cup exit.
Ronaldo was benched for the primary time on this World Cup within the Round of 16 match towards Switzerland earlier this week and was introduced in solely within the second half of the match. Portugal received the tie on a thumping observe with Ronaldo’s substitute, Goncalo Ramos, scoring a sensational hat-trick. Santos adopted the identical technique along with his beginning XI towards Morocco as effectively, however Portugal failed to seek out the again of the web.
When requested after the World Cup exit if he regretted the choice to bench Ronaldo, Santos mentioned, “No, I don’t think so, no regrets.
“I think this was a team which played very well against Switzerland. Cristiano Ronaldo is a great player, he came in when we thought it was necessary, so no regrets.”
Ronaldo has been one of many greatest speaking level on the World Cup with what unfolded at Manchester United after his bombshell interview and later being benched within the event. But Portugal’s senior tactician pressured that the off-field incidents had no influence on the participant or on the group.
“I don’t think what happened to Cristiano Ronaldo and the criticism he received had any impact on the match, we have always been a team that is very united,” he mentioned.