Portugal legend, Luis Figo, has hit out at head coach Fernando Santos for benching captain Cristiano Ronaldo following the team’s exit from the 2022 FIFA World Cup on Saturday.
Figo, who represented Portugal during the 2002 and 2006 FIFA World Cup tournaments, said Santos cannot win the World Cup, leaving Ronaldo on the bench, adding that the manager made a mistake.
Santos benched Ronaldo once again as Morocco defeated Portugal in the World Cup quarter-final tie at the weekend in Qatar.
Ronaldo had started all three of Portugal’s group-stage games.
However, the 37-year-old was left out of the starting XI against Switzerland in the last 16 as 21-year-old Goncalo Ramos replaced him.
The former Manchester United forward was once again benched against Morocco.
The five-time Ballon d’ Or winner was introduced just six minutes after the commencement of the second half, but Morocco was leading through a 42nd-minute goal from Youssef En-Nessyri as the match eventually ended 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 Sportskeeda as saying.