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Nations League: Real reason I benched Ronaldo against Spain – Portugal coach Fernando Santos

Portugal manager, Fernando Santos, has given reasons why he benched Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo during his side’s UEFA Nations League 1-1 draw against Spain on Thursday.

Santos did not start Ronaldo as goals from Alvaro Morata and Ricardo Horta ensured both Portugal and Spain drew at Benito Villamarín.

Ronaldo was introduced by Santos in the 62nd minute but failed to make a goal contribution as the attacking trio of Rafael Leao, Andre Silva and Otavio started ahead of him.

When asked why he did not start Ronaldo, Santos simply called it a tactical decision.

He was quoted as saying the following (via the Indian Express): “Cristiano Ronaldo? They often ask why he is a starter.

“It’s the million-dollar question. I understood that for this game, it was better to use the players I used. It was a technical and tactical option for this game.

“It seemed to us the best solution. For the way, we wanted to play and approach the game. It has nothing to do with Cristiano’s quality. That’s not even in question.”

He added: “There are moments in the game when you have to think in a different way. We believed that in the second half, he could come in and solve the game.”

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