Georgina Rodriguez dedicated a message to her partner Cristiano Ronaldo after Portugal thrashed Switzerland in the 2022 FIFA World Cup, claiming that fans were chanting his name throughout the game.
Portugal coach Fernando Santos made the bold call of leaving Cristiano Ronaldo on the bench for the last-16 clash against Switzerland on Tuesday night (6 December). Goncalo Ramos, who was given the nod to start ahead of the 37-year-old, scored a superb hat-trick to fire the Navigators to an emphatic 6-1 victory over the Swiss.
Pepe, Raphael Guerreiro, and Rafael Leao scored the other three goals for the 2016 European Champions. Ronaldo was introduced off the bench in the 74th minute and failed to produce anything of note.
Rodriguez, who was in attendance at the Lusail Iconic Stadium, claimed that the crowd sang her partner’s name from start to finish, even when he wasn’t on the pitch.
“Congratulations Portugal 💚 While the 11 players sang the anthem all goals placed on you. What a shame he didn’t get to enjoy the best player in the world for the 90 minutes,” Rodriguez wrote on Instagram.
She also made an indirect plea to Santos, urging him to give fans more of Ronaldo.
“The fans haven’t stopped claiming you and screaming your name. I hope God and your dear friend Fernando hold hands and make us vibrate one more night ⭐️”
Fernando Santos admits Cristiano Ronaldo’s role is set to be “defined” for the remainder of the World Cup
Santos’ decision of benching Cristiano Ronaldo was a monumental one. It marked the first time since the 2008 European Championship that Ronaldo was left on the bench at a major tournament. After the game, Santos was inevitably asked about his decision, and his answer was not too encouraging for Ronaldo’s supporters.
Cristiano Ronaldo walks ‘straight off’ pitch at full-time as Portugal players celebrate with fan
The Portugal coach insisted that Ronaldo was an important member of the squad but admitted that his role in the team was no longer set in stone.
Speaking to the press about Cristiano Ronaldo, Santos said (h/t Sky Sports):
“That [Ronaldo’s role] is still something that has to be defined. I have a very close relationship with him – I always have, I have known him since he was 19 years old.
“This relationship only develops, Ronaldo and I never interpret the human aspect of that of manager and player (in relation to) what we have to do during the match. I will always consider in my role that he is an important player to have in the team.”
Having brushed Switzerland aside in the round of 16, Portugal will take on Morocco in the quarter-finals on Saturday, 10 December.
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