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‘No regrets’ – Fernando Santos sticks to his decision to bench Cristiano Ronaldo after Portugal’s World Cup exit

The Euro 2016 winners were knocked out of the tournament in a huge shock on Saturday night, losing 1-0 after Youssef En-Nesyri’s first-half goal.

The victory was historic for Morocco, which became the first African nation to reach the semi-finals of a World Cup.

Ronaldo, who was dropped for Portugal’s knockout round of 16 victory over Switzerland, was on the bench again for that defeat and only came on as a substitute early in the second half.

When asked if he regretted not starting Ronaldo, Santos replied: “No, I don’t think so, no regrets.

“I think they are a team that played very well against Switzerland. Cristiano Ronaldo is a great player, he came when we thought it was necessary, so no regrets.

Ronaldo has been talked about throughout this World Cup, first after his departure from Manchester United, then because he was let go by Portugal. But Santos doesn’t think that has disrupted his team.

“I don’t think what happened to Cristiano Ronaldo and the criticism he received had any impact on the game, we were always a very united team,” he said.

Sports standard

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