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Portugal coach has no regrets for benching Cristiano Ronaldo

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Portugal coach Fernando Santos stated he has “no regrets” about not beginning Cristiano Ronaldo regardless of their World Cup exit to Morocco.

Ronaldo was launched off the bench within the 51st minute with Portugal 1-0 down, however the 37-year-old could not encourage a fight-back as Morocco turned the primary African aspect to achieve a semifinal on the World Cup.

– Dawson: Morocco fairytale continues as Portugal despatched packing

Santos additionally named Ronaldo as an alternative choice to their 6-1 win over Switzerland within the spherical of 16 and stated the outcome was sufficient to persuade him to maintain the identical workforce for the quarterfinal.

“I do not suppose so, no regrets,” Santos stated. “I feel this was a workforce which performed very properly in opposition to Switzerland. Cristiano Ronaldo is a superb participant, he got here in once we thought it was vital, so no regrets.

“If we take two individuals that had been probably the most upset it’s Cristiano Ronaldo and myself. After all we’re upset, however that’s a part of the job of the coach and the participant.”

Morocco gained because of Sevilla striker Youssef En-Nesyri‘s first-half header when he outjumped Portugal keeper Diogo Costa to attain a historic aim for his nation.

Portugal solely managed three photographs on course as they went in the hunt for an equaliser, and afterwards Bruno Fernandes was extremely vital of Argentinian referee Facundo Tello.

“I do not know if they will give the cup to Argentina,” Fernandes stated. “I do not care, I’ll say what I feel and screw them. It’s totally unusual {that a} referee from a workforce that is nonetheless within the cup officiates us. They’ve clearly tilted the sphere in opposition to us.”

Fernandes’ teammate Pepe additionally questioned Tello’s efficiency and prompt Lionel Messi‘s criticism of the referee throughout Argentina’s penalty shootout victory over the Netherlands on Friday had performed a component.

“We dominated the sport one hundred pc of the time,” Pepe stated. “I feel what the referee did right this moment; that is an Argentinian referee. After what Messi stated yesterday it appears there’s one thing very bizarre. We could not play within the second half as a result of the referee stored stopping the sport.

“I am very indignant, very indignant as a result of the referee did not allow us to play.”

Requested afterwards about Tello, Santos performed down his affect on the outcome whereas additionally leaving his future as Portugal boss up within the air.

“I feel we may have finished extra and we failed to take action, so I do not suppose we must always blame the referee,” Santos stated. “I reiterate what I stated earlier than the competitors, I’ve a dialogue with the president and once we return to Portugal we’ll take care of the difficulty of my contract.”

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