After the “bench humiliation” of the WC in Qatar…Ronaldo-Santus director ‘live’ for a year → “misunderstanding”
Fernando Santos (Portugal), who recently stepped down as head coach of the Polish national soccer team, has opened up about why he benched Cristiano Ronaldo (Al Nasr) when he led his country to the World Cup in Qatar last year.
Santos told ‘A Bola’ on Aug. 8 (KST), “We haven’t spoken since the tournament in Qatar. I was close to Ronaldo outside of soccer and personally. I don’t know what happened,” he said, emphasizing that “(last year’s World Cup) was a technical decision.”레모나토토 도메인
Ronaldo had one of his worst World Cup campaigns last year. He started the group stage match against South Korea (1-2 loss to Portugal) and was dropped to the bench in the second half after a poor performance, and was then dropped from the starting lineup for the round of 16 match against Switzerland (6-1 win for Portugal) and the quarterfinals against Morocco (0-1 loss for Portugal) in favor of newcomer Gonzalo Hamus. It was a benching humiliation that would effectively be his last World Cup. He publicly expressed his displeasure at the time, leading to rumors of a falling out with Santos.
“In the second half of 2022, Ronaldo had a terrible time, both mentally and physically. It started with a misfortune that no one in the family wants to go through (the death of his twin sons), which had a huge impact on him.” “Of course, there is also the performance aspect. Ronaldo didn’t play in the pre-season games (with his then club United) and didn’t train for almost two months. He didn’t have a rhythm.”
Santos also admits that Ronaldo was openly unhappy at the time. “On the morning of the game, I went to explain to him why he was left out of the starting lineup, and he misunderstood me. Of course I understand the reaction,” he said. “He’s still like a son or a brother to me. I don’t regret (the decision). I understand that he was hurt at the time and I feel that he could still be hurt,” he added.