Georgina Rodríguez And Ronaldo's Family Blast Portugal Coach Santos Following Portugal's World Cup Elimination Against Morocco.

Portugal head coach, Fernando Santos has come under heavy criticism for his decision to start Cristiano Ronaldo from the bench again in their 1-0 defeat to Morocco in the quarterfinal of the World Cup on Saturday evening.

The 2022 World Cup, though, has been a rollercoaster of ups and downs for Cristiano Ronaldo who was making his fifth appearance in the tournament, and what could likely be his last.

For the first time since 2008, Ronaldo was benched in Portugal’s first knockout round 6-1 demolition of Switzerland after he reacted angrily to being substituted against South Korea in the side’s final group match which they lost. 

According to several reports, he had threatened to walk out on the Portuguese squad amid their World Cup challenge, but Portugal denied those reports.

On Saturday, Santos used the same starting XI that demolished Switzerland in the round-of-16, meaning that the legendary Ronaldo began the game on the bench for a second consecutive time.

Santos, opted to give his replacement, Gonçalo Ramos, the nod again after he scored a hat-trick in the match against Switzerland, but unnfortunately, his country wasn’t so lucky this time around against a resilient Morocco side.

READ MORE: HISTORY: Morocco Becomes The FIRST-EVER African Team To Qualify For The World Cup Semi-Finals After Knocking-Out Portugal.

It happened that Sevilla's forward Youssef En-Nesyri gave the North African side the lead late in the first-half (42 minute) at the Al Thumama Stadium.

Ronaldo was not subbed onto the pitch until the 51st minute, and as he rushed onto the field, he swapped the captain’s armband with veteran defender Pepe before turning his attention to his remaining teammates, whom he desperately urged to press on.

As the final whistle neared, Ronaldo threw his arms up to the Portugal fans, in a last-ditch attempt to rouse the crowd.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner nearly generated a scoring chance in the 82nd minute, setting up teammate João Félix, whose shot was denied by Morocco’s goalkeeper. 

In the end, Ronaldo and the team were unable to pull a comeback against the Atlas Lions who became the first-ever African team to reach the semi-finals stage of a World Cup.

Ronaldo wept as he hurried down the tunnel after full-time, he took a final stoic glance at the crowd as he strode past reporters, camerapeople and FIFA staff towards the Portuguese dressing room.

Notably, he was almost completely alone cupping his hand over his face in utter disappointment.

READ MORE: HISTORY: Morocco Becomes The FIRST-EVER African Team To Qualify For The World Cup Semi-Finals After Knocking-Out Portugal.

The superstar’s girlfriend/partner Georgina Rodríguez was quick to jump at his defence again, as she hits hard at the coach Santos after Poortugal's shock World Cup defeat to Morocco.

“Today your friend and coach made the wrong decision,” she wrote to her 40million Instagram followers.

“That friend for whom you have so many words of admiration and respect.

“The same one who, when putting you on the field, saw how everything changed, but it was too late.

“You can’t underestimate the best player in the world, his most powerful weapon. Much less should one stand up for those who don’t deserve it.

“Life gives us lessons. Today we don’t lose, we learn. We admire you.”

“No regrets,” Santos had said of his decision not to start his captain for the second consecutive match.

Cristiano is a great player, he came in when we thought it was necessary. We have no regret.”

Ronaldo’s sisters also posted messages of support for the 37-year-old, after previously backing their sibling in the aftermath of the Switzerland snub.

His sister, Katia Aveiro, posted his image with the words: “This is what breaks my heart.

“In the end it’s about ours… About mine… And about the pride I have in him and the story he wrote.

“With glory, much glory, we’re together my brother, until death.”

Ronaldo’s other sister, Elma, wrote: “Waiting for the list of those guilty for this defeat… The smart commentators from Portugal (oops they’re gone), they must be worried about losing their jobs, it’s hard to say.

“Sad… but you won’t carry that guilt. Sad for the team, now to lift your head high and move on… God knows all things.”

No comments

Powered by Blogger.