Leave Ronaldo alone, says Portugal coach Santos ahead of quarter-finals

Leave Ronaldo alone, says Portugal coach Santos ahead of quarter-finals

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“Yes, we had a conversation… It had to happen, it’s part of our base. I don’t do this with all my players, but he is the captain of our team. You know what he does for Portuguese football. represents.” Portuguese people and national team.

“I invited him to my office (on the day of the match) and told him, ‘Listen, you are not one of the starters. In terms of strategy it is better that you are not on the field.’ We expected the game to be tough and I will save that for the second half.”

Ronaldo, the country’s all-time top scorer, came on as a substitute and, although he did not score, Santos said he remained professional by warming up with his teammates and celebrating each goal.

Santos said, “Cristiano obviously wasn’t too happy about it (being benched) because he’s always been a starter… and he asked me if it was a good idea.”

“But we had a normal conversation where I explained my point of view and of course, he accepted. We had a frank and normal conversation.”

best player

Joao Felix was one of those players who came into his own in the match against Switzerland, with the Atlético Madrid forward racking up two assists and unlocking the Swiss defence.

The 23-year-old denied reports that players were instructed to approach Ronaldo whenever he was on the pitch and urged the Portuguese forward not to create a hostile environment for the team.

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