Portugal legend Luis Figo slammed coach Fernando Santos for benching Cristiano Ronaldo after the team’s exit from the 2022 FIFA World Cup on Saturday.
Figo, who represented Portugal during the 2002 and 2006 World Cups, said that Santos could not win the World Cup, and left Ronaldo on the bench, adding that the coach made a mistake.
Santos once again knocked Ronaldo off the bench as Morocco beat Portugal in their World Cup quarter-final match over the weekend in Qatar.
Ronaldo started all three of Portugal’s group stage matches.
However, the 37-year-old was left out of the starting line-up against Switzerland in the round of 16 as he was replaced by 21-year-old Goncalo Ramos.
The former Manchester United striker was again benched against Morocco.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner was introduced just six minutes into the second half, but Morocco took the lead with a 42nd-minute goal from Youssef En-Nesyri as the match eventually finished 1-0.
“You can’t win the World Cup with Cristiano on the bench. Leaving Cristiano Ronaldo on the bench was a mistake. “This defeat is the responsibility of Fernando Santos,” Figo was quoted by Sportskida as saying.
Qatar 2022: You can’t win the World Cup and leave Ronaldo on the bench – Figo blows up Santos