Cristiano Ronaldo’s girlfriend Georgina Rodriguez expressed her displeasure with manager Fernando Santos’ decision to bench the Portugal captain. Ronaldo, one of the greatest players in the history of the game, was left out of Portugal’s starting lineup against Switzerland in the FIFA World Cup Round of 16 matches on Tuesday.
While Portugal manager Fernando Santos’ decision left many fans stunned, the move eventually paid off as Ronaldo’s replacement Goncalo Ramos scored a hat-trick in the team’s 6-1 win. Despite Ramos’ undeniable impact, there were many Ronaldo supporters who were dissatisfied with the Portugal manager for his decision, and this included Ronaldo’s partner Georgina Rodriguez.
Ronaldo, the 5-time Ballon d’Or winner, hasn’t been in the best of form in this tournament. Other than a penalty against Ghana, the forward hasn’t been able to leave a mark while leading the line for Portugal in the World Cup.
Ronaldo was left out of Portugal’s Round of 16 lineups despite appearing in all of the country’s group-stage matches.
The match against Switzerland was Portugal’s highest-scoring game, with four different players scoring, including a hat-trick by Ramos.
In a post on Instagram after the match, Georgina Rodriguez expressed her unhappiness at Santos’ decision.
“Congratulations Portugal. While the 11 players sang the anthem, all eyes were on you. What a shame not to have been able to enjoy the best player in the world for 90 minutes.
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The fans did not stop asking for you and shouting your name. May God and your dear friend Fernando continue to hand in hand and make us vibrate one more night,” she wrote.
Portugal’s manager, Fernando Santos, explained his decision to bench Ronaldo in favor of Ramos after the decision.
“Cristiano and Ramos are different players. There is no problem with the captain of the national team,” Santos said.
“It was strategic. There is player variety. I also started Raphael Guerrero and Diogo Dalot, but Joao Cancelo is an outstanding performer. I had it in mind for the game against Switzerland, but it could have been different in another game “Santos threw in his hat.
Given how well Ramos performed against Switzerland, Ronaldo is unlikely to start for Portugal against Morocco in the quarterfinals.
After the game, Ronaldo was seen walking alone across the pitch towards the tunnel, while his teammates continued to celebrate as a group.
The World Cup comes after the 37-year-old legend ended things with Manchester United following an interview with Piers Morgan in which he launched an attack on the club and manager Erik ten Hag.
Days after the interview, he had his £500,000-a-week contract terminated with “immediate effect,” with United stating last month: “Cristiano Ronaldo is to leave Manchester United by mutual agreement, with immediate effect.”