Portugal boss Fernando Santos has said he dropped Cristiano Ronaldo for tactical reasons against Switzerland and insists he remains a great captain.
Ronaldo had to watch the majority of the game from the sidelines as Portugal cruised their way to a 6-1 thrashing of Switzerland in the World Cup last 16, having been dropped following behavioural issues in their previous fixture against South Korea. Manager Santos has claimed the decision was entirely tactical, with his replacement Goncalo Ramos going on to bag a historic hat-trick.
Speaking to reporters after the win, Santos insisted: “I already explained it (the situation surrounding Ronaldo being dropped), I won’t explain it again. They are different players. It was game strategy, all the players are different, I also launched Dalot, Raphael, however Cancelo is also a fabulous player. It was what I thought that we would need for this match against Switzerland.”
He added: “There is no problem between Fernando Santos and the captain of the national team (Ronaldo), we’ve been friends for many years. Players make decisions. Things don’t affect us. I already explained, that part was completely resolved and he set a great example of a great captain.”