Qatar 2022: Why is Cristiano Ronaldo not starting for Portugal vs Morocco?


Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the best players in the history of Portugal, but he won’t start the quarterfinals game against Morocco. Read here to find out why Fernando Santos took this surprising decision.

The 2022 World Cup in Qatar was very special for Cristiano Ronaldo as he became the first player ever to score at least one goal in five different editions of the tournament. In his fifth and likely final appearance, the legendary star looks to lift the one trophy missing.

Portugal are playing in their sixth straight World Cup (eighth overall) and many pundits believe this could be the best squad in their history. Those are strong words considering Eusebio led a great team to a third-place finish in England in 1966 and Figo captained his team to the semi-finals in 2006. The Portuguese have never won the tournament or reached the final, so Qatar 2022 could be theirs chance.

Portugal finished top of Group H after two wins (Ghana, Uruguay) and a defeat (South Korea). Then, in the Round of 16, they performed brilliantly, smashing Switzerland in a shootout (6-1). Now, in the crucial match of the quarter-finals, thousands of fans expected to see Cristiano Ronaldo against Morocco, but that will not happen.

Why is Cristiano Ronaldo not playing in Portugal vs Morocco?

In the Round of 16, coach Fernando Santos took a shocking and historic decision by leaving Cristiano Ronaldo on the bench. Gonçalo Ramos started in his place and scored three goals after a fantastic performance against Switzerland.

So, as a consequence of that, Portugal will go with the same formula. Gonçalo Ramos gets the call and Cristiano Ronaldo is available to come from the bench. During the last game facing Switzerland, Cristiano came in as a substitute in minute 74′.

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