Morocco eliminated Portugal on Saturday in a 1-0 victory in the World Cup quarterfinals.
Veteran forward Cristiano Ronaldo was notably absent from the start of that match.
After the defeat, Portugal head coach Fernando Santos stood by the decision not to start Ronaldo, according to ESPN’s Rob Dawson.
“I don’t think so, no regrets,” Santos said. “I think this was a team which played very well against Switzerland. Cristiano Ronaldo is a great player, he came in when we thought it was necessary, so no regrets.”
Ronaldo was subbed into the match in the 51st minute and took one shot in 11 touches during the 39 minutes he played. He was in tears exiting Portugal’s loss Saturday.
“If we take two persons that were the most upset it is Cristiano Ronaldo and myself,” Santos said. “Of course we are upset, but that is part of the job of the coach and the player.”
Ronaldo started in each of Portugal’s three group-stage matches until he was relegated to the bench in the round-of-16 clash with Switzerland.
Gonçalo Ramos took Ronaldo’s place and scored three goals in that 6-1 win.
“They are different players,” the coach said after the victory. “It was game strategy.”
Following Ronaldo looking very angry as he was substituted in the 65th minute of Portugal’s loss to South Korea, there were ensuing reports that he planned to leave the team.
At a news conference on the eve of Portugal’s Round of 16 matchup with Switzerland, Santos acknowledged that while he “really didn’t like” Ronaldo’s reaction to the roster move, the rumors were false.
With it widely 토토사이트 understood that this is likely the last World Cup match for 37-year-old Ronaldo, Santos attempted to shut down the speculation with a reminder of Ronaldo’s contributions to Portuguese soccer.
“It is time we stopped with this conversation and the controversies. He celebrated all the goals that we scored,” Santos said. “It is time for you to leave Ronaldo alone in acknowledgement of what he did for Portuguese football.”