Portugal coach claims leaving out Ronaldo against Switzerland was strategic

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The Portugal coach clarifies that not starting with Cristiano Ronaldo in the FIFA World Cup 2022 Round of 16 match against Switzerland was solely strategic.

Portugal emerged victorious over Switzerland by finding the net six times as compared to once for Switzerland. The FIFA World Cup 2022 will next see Santos and his men play against Morocco on December 10, 2022, in the quarterfinals of the tournament.

Following their victory at Lusail Stadium on December 7, 2022, Santos recently drew a tiny circle of inquiries. Fans and reporters began to wonder why Cristiano Ronaldo had been sitting on the bench for the last 17 minutes. It should be clear that given the kind of football that Ronaldo plays for his club, judgments like these are frequently difficult to make.

The matter did not take further ignition, though, as Santos came forward to clarify that the decision to keep Ronaldo off the field was purely strategic. The Forward was also kept out vs. South Korea, an event that almost turned the tables for the top spot with the final tally of 2-1 in favor of the Korean football team.

The risk was involved, but, at the same time, it was necessary to stick to the strategy crafted to advance to the next knockout round.

Santos discussed his relationship with Cristiano Ronaldo, adding that they have a deep bond with a clearly delineated line between their human and personal aspects. Since Ronaldo’s 19th year at Sporting, he has been acquainted with the Portuguese coach. The national team drew them closer together, enabling them to take their game to an entirely new level.

Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the team’s most significant players despite scoring just one goal at the current FIFA World Cup. The players’ assistance and mere presence on the pitch, in addition to their shots, can significantly affect the formations established by the team’s management.

Ramos scored three times for Portugal against Switzerland. Pepe scored one goal, and Guerreiro and Leao also made important contributions.

They were challenged majorly by Akanji, who scored an opener for Switzerland in the 58th minute. Needless to say, Portugal dominated the game with a ball possession of less than 50%. Sommer saw the ball go past several times; such was Portugal’s attacking style. The Swiss goalkeeper was unable to save six shots on goal. Costa, on the other hand, received support from the defensive stretch of Dalot, Pepe, Dias, and Guerreiro, two of whom even scored a goal for their team.

Cristiano Ronaldo substituted Felix in the 73rd minute to give his fans a sign of relief, as most of them were in the stadium just to see him play.

The challenge remains against Morocco in the FIFA World Cup 2022 quarterfinals. The team has surprised everyone with its 3-0 penalty shootout win over Spain. Portugal and Morocco will meet at Al Thumama Stadium, Qatar, on December 10, 2022, at 8:30 p.m.

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