Published: Mon, October 09, 2017
Money | By Armando Alvarado

Cristiano Ronaldo: Portugal manager reveals why he dropped Real Madrid star

Cristiano Ronaldo: Portugal manager reveals why he dropped Real Madrid star

The game is set to be one of the biggest mismatches in this round of the qualifiers as Portugal defeated Andorra 6-0 the last time the two teams met.

Portugal manager Fernando Santos has defended his decision to leave Cristiano Ronaldo on the bench for the 2018 World Cup qualifier against Andorra, despite the Real Madrid forward's integral role in the eventual victory.

Screenshot from Fifa.com of Group B table.

Portugal has been one of the better teams in these UEFA qualifiers now second in Group B with 21 points and a goal differential of 24.

Without Ronaldo - who has hit 14 goals in the qualifying campaign - AC Milan striker Andre Silva will be the main attacking threat for Portugal, while Manchester City's Bernardo Silva and Ricardo Quaresma provide the supply lines. At the end of the first half, the Portuguese coach Fernando Santos chose to landed Real Madrid man to the ground and his decision was proved right.

"I thought hard, I pondered", Santos said when asked about the exclusion of Ronaldo from the starting line-up. "Ronaldo didn't train at 100 per cent in the two days before the game".

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Ronaldo and Quaresma failed to make Portugal's lead more comfortable, sending long-range efforts off target, while a Bernardo Silva strike after a goalmouth scramble deflected wide.

"I tried to administer the situation and do what was best". In the last five matches, Andorra has lost three matches, won one game and another game ended in a draw whereas the team Portugal has won games and lost one game.

After admitting that his side lacked momentum and found it tough to adapt to the pitch, the 62-year-old added: "I had to put Ronaldo on the field, another forward and everything improved. We ended up winning as well, as we wanted,"‎ he said.

With Lionel Messi in serious danger of not being at next summer's World Cup due to Argentina's continued struggles, Cristiano will not want Portugal to suffer a similar fate.

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