12 November 2023, 08:57 AM
Why was Ronaldo not included in the starting XI against Morocco in the World Cup in Qatar? Such a question may be haunting Portugal football fans even today. Who knew, if Ronaldo was there, maybe the quarter final result could have been different for Portugal. But that didn’t happen. Portugal, who appeared on the World Cup stage with great expectations, stopped in the last eight. Ronaldo is also deprived of the title dream.
About 11 months after the end of the World Cup, the former coach of Portugal, Fernando Santos, finally talked about the decision of that day. While talking to the media, the former Portuguese coach talked about many issues including the relationship with Ronaldo. He said that he saw Ronaldo as his own son. However, after the end of the World Cup, there was no talk between them in the last 11 months.
However, this coach is not unhappy with his decision, ‘I made some strategic changes in Qatar. That’s why you need to know the back story. As I said earlier, he is the best player in the world, but at that time he was having a tough time. Considering his personal life, the last six months of 2022 were very difficult. That wasn’t the case in United’s pre-season camp. And when he came back, it was still not regular.’
Santos commented that although Ronaldo’s physical condition was fine, he lost his rhythm, ‘If we had tested, he would have been on top of everyone. If we had done a sprint test or any physical ability test, he might have won. But he was not in the rhythm.’ However, he commented that Ronaldo regained his rhythm in the first match of the tournament.
This coach also said that Ronaldo misunderstood the match with Morocco, ‘It was a strategic decision. My team and I discussed it and thought it was the right decision. It was not an easy decision, but it was the right one. But I always believed that he would come on and change the match.’