Fernando Santos on benching Cristiano Ronaldo: “I have no regrets.”

Speaking after his Portugal team’s World Cup quarter-final defeat to Morocco, coach Fernando Santos defended his decision to leave striker Cristiano Ronaldo on the bench for the second game running and stated that his team were missing the “luck” needed to beat a stubborn Morocco team. Santos said:

“I don’t regret it. Cristiano is a huge player. He came on when we saw it was necessary – I have no regrets. This strategic decision was one of the hardest I’ve made, but I can’t think with my heart, I have to think with my head... In the first half there were difficulties, it took us a long time to get into the game. The players wanted to but they couldn’t, they showed a lot of desire. They were very confident but, the truth is, that we weren’t able to play our game… We didn’t have that bit of luck. There are games where you can’t show your ability and creativity, and a bit of luck is needed to win… I’m going to Lisbon to talk to the president (of the Portuguese federation) which is how we’ve always done it. We’re going to discuss what’s best for the Portuguese team.”


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