- The Al-Nassr forward was dropped for two knockout games in the tournament
- Former manager Fernando Santos said that he does not regret his decision
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Eyebrows across the world were raised when the ex-Real Madrid starlet was dropped from the starting line-up of Portugal’s last-16 clash against Switzerland.
Goncalo Ramos’s fantastic hat-trick performance then kept Ronaldo out of the team for their quarter-final against Morroco, which they lost 1-0 despite bringing on the forward later in the game.
Now, Santos has revealed that Ronaldo has blanked him since their World Cup exit.
Speaking about dropping Ronaldo, Santos told Marca: ‘I would make the same decision! It was a strategic decision. First I have to think about the team.
Cristiano Ronaldo was dropped for Portugal’s last-16 clash and their quarter-final match
Fernando Santos, pictured, said to this day he does not regret his decision to drop him
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‘I thought strategically that it was the best decision. My technical team and I, as you understand, discussed this matter, it was not an easy decision.
‘Even for issues personal, friendship and so on, since it had a great weight. My trust in him was the same,’
‘Everyone who was there thought we were going to be world champions. If we had beaten Morocco and against the next rival France, perhaps Cristiano would be in the starting eleven.’
He then added: ‘Anyway, in terms of the pace of the game, it was his worst moment. He had no rhythm. We tried, during the games leading up to the World Cup, and then in the first games, to give him some rhythm, which was what he lacked.
‘When I called him in the morning to tell him that he was not going to be a starter, He misinterpreted my decision. If it were today I would make the same decision.’
Ronaldo has recently made headlines after his Al-Nassr manager said Ronaldo was ruled out of their Asian Champions League tie with Al-Duhail because he is suffering from ‘fatigue’.