‘Why I Benched Cristiano Ronaldo vs Andorra’- Portugal Boss Facing Heavy Criticism Finally Speaks
Portugal coach, Fernando Santos has explained why started star forward, Cristiano Ronaldo was on the bench in their 2-0 victory over Andorra in the World qualifier on Saturday.
Santo said Ronaldo had not been able to train fully ahead of the crunch encounter.
Ronaldo came off the bench in the second half to inspire Portugal to a 2-0 win.
The Real Madrid man is one booking away from being suspended for the concluding Group B game at home to leaders Switzerland on Tuesday and was surprisingly named among the substitutes on Saturday.
After a goalless first half, Santos turned to the 32-year-old at the interval and he proved the difference.
Ronaldo scored his 15th goal of the qualifying campaign from close range and then provided a cross from which Andre Silva added a late second to wrap up the points.
Santos said Ronaldo’s suspension situation was not the only reason he benched him.
“I thought a lot. I thought, well, Ronaldo did not train 100 per cent in two of the days of work,” Santos told RTP.
“There were many factors that led to this decision. Games are complicated, I tried to manage and do what was best.
“Whether it was questionable or not… we ended up winning and that’s what matters.
“We knew it was going to be difficult and it was notable the team had difficulties adapting to the pitch, and then with their defence very close, [we were] lacking momentum.
“I had to put Ronaldo on the field, another forward and everything improved.
“There was a period of adaptation, but from a certain moment we created situations. We ended up winning as well, as we wanted,” he said.