FIFA: Portugal coach has ‘no regrets’ about omitting Ronaldo from starting line-up

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AL THUMAMA: Following his side’s loss to Morocco in the quarterfinal of the ongoing FIFA World Cup, Portugal coach Fernando Santos said that he had no regrets of not including star striker Cristiano Ronaldo in starting line up.

Morocco scripted history on Saturday to become the first African nation to qualify for the last four of the World Cup after defeating Portugal 1-0 in the quarterfinal.

“Our players are distressed,” said Portugal coach Fernando Santos as quoted by Sky Sports. Ronaldo had come to the field after fifty minutes but could not make a difference and left the pitch teary-eyed as the World Cup dreams of this 37-year-old were broken in pieces.

Santos added: “Cristiano is a great player and he came on when we thought it was necessary. But no, no regrets.”

The African nation staged a massive upset to knock Portugal out of the World Cup as they held onto their one-goal lead at halftime to book a maiden slot in the FIFA World Cup semifinals. A resilient Morocco found the back of the net through Youssef El-Nesyri in the 42nd minute. The forward went airborne and headed the cross from Attiyat Allah to give his side the advantage which proved fatal for Portugal.

Morocco bettered their record against Portugal after the win having won two of their three matches. The loss for Portugal will be very disappointing for Ronaldo who has probably played his last World Cup given his age.

Cristiano Ronaldo, who came on as a second-half substitute, was unable to make a difference. The forward left the pitch in tears with his World Cup dream ending in this edition.

Morocco overcame expectations and challenges to reach the semi-finals, defeating Croatia, Belgium, Spain, and now Portugal. The Atlas Lions are now two steps away from glory. Portugal went all out but Morocco overcame tiredness, injury, and nervousness in the knockout game to earn a remarkable victory. The team held the European side for a memorable win. (ANI)

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