Cristiano Ronaldo, who has been Portugal’s most potent asset on the pitch for years, was surprisingly benched during the national side’s 2022 World Cup run in Qatar — a move that remains highly controversial among football fans. Ronaldo witnessed his team’s quarter-final exit from the sidelines. After Portugal head coach Fernando Santos decided to bench the veteran striker. Santos is currently the manager of the Turkish team Besiktas. So, he came under fire for benching Cristiano Ronaldo.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s 2022 World Cup omission | WHY?
He has now revealed his “tactics” to his supporters have long-questioned his reasoning behind the controversial decision. It was to bench the star footballer in the all-important match, reported essentiallysports. As per the former Portugal head coach, he snubbed Ronaldo to ensure a “balance with the team’s interests” and clarified that the move wasn’t personal or political. “We made a tactical decision and left Cristiano Ronaldo on the bench during the World Cup.
I had to make this decision and I did it right. If we had not been eliminated, there would not have been much trouble. The team is important to me,” he said. Santos also shed light on Ronaldo’s fitness and form both before and during the mega-event and stressed that the 38-year-old wasn’t at his “natural peak” and was struggling following his muddled season with Manchester United. Furthermore, he also revealed that he hasn’t spoken to Ronaldo since the culmination of their World Cup run.