Cristiano Ronaldo’s partner Georgina Rodriguez slammed Fernando Santos, following Portugal’s shock exit against Morocco. Cristiano Ronaldo left the ground in tears after the final whistle, possibly playing his final World Cup match.
Portugal manager Fernando Santos again opted to leave out the record goal scorer on the bench. Santos’s strategy to start Goncalo Ramos in the Round of 16 games worked out as he scored a hat trick. However, against Morocco, the Benfica man had very little impact on the game. The Atlas Lions showed indomitable grit even without their star defender Nayef Augerd.
En-Nseyri’s header in the 42nd minute, followed by a fatal goalkeeping error of Diogo Costa, took Morocco into the lead. Fernando Santos brought Ronaldo on 51st minute to change the course of the game. Yassine Bono, the Moroccan keeper did well to deny Ronaldo’s only attempt at goal off the bench.
Georgina wrote on Instagram, “Today, your friend and coach made the wrong decision. That friend for whom you have so many words of admiration and respect. The same one who, when putting you on the field, saw how everything changed, but it was too late. You can’t underestimate the best player of the world, its most powerful weapon. Much less should one stand up for those who don’t deserve it. Life gives us lessons. Today we don’t lose, we learn. We admire you.”
Georgina didn’t hold her emotions out criticizing Fernando Santos. She addressed Ronaldo’s not starting as an act of disrespect. She also added that it was ‘too late’ when Santos brought Ronaldo in.
Fernando Santos does not regret his decision about Cristiano Ronaldo
In the post-match interview, Fernando Santos was very clear about his decision to leave Cristiano Ronaldo on the bench. He said that he cannot think from his heart while taking these big decisions. He defended his team selection by saying his strategy worked against Morocco and there were no reasons to change that.
Portugal coach Fernando Santos doesn’t regret his decision to bench Cristiano Ronaldo against Morocco. pic.twitter.com/ZS4bfqBETS
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) December 10, 2022
Fernando Santos also complimented the Moroccan defense. He said it was completely ‘their merit’ following his team’s inability to find space in the opposition’s defense. He still thinks Ronaldo is a great player, and leaving him out was strategic. Fernando Santos was asked about his stay as the Portugal coach. He answered it by saying he will fly to Portugal and talk to the president as usual.
He defended his team by admitting themselves unlucky. Bruno Fernanades’ shot hit the post. Joao Felix’s shot was incredibly palmed away by Bono. Pepe’s header from a delightful cross was just off-target as well.