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

The team talisman is one yellow card away from a match suspension for Portugal

In the standing table of World Cup Qualifying UEFA Group B, Andorra is in the fifth place with four points and the team Portugal is in the second place with 21 points.

Poland are now leading group E with three points over Denmark and a point in their final game against third-placed Montenegro on Sunday will see them secure their direct ticket for Russian Federation.

Coach Fernando Santos chose to leave Ronaldo on the bench for the start as Portugal's record scorer was carrying a yellow card and another would have ruled him out of the Switzerland game.

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.

The Swiss lead Portugal in Group B by three points but have a vastly inferior goal difference, meaning a win for Portugal between the two sides in Lisbon on Tuesday will see them claim the automatic place for Russian Federation and Switzerland enter the playoffs.

The Real Madrid superstar thrived on the pressure by scoring his 15th goal of the qualifying campaign to draw level with Poland's prolific Robert Lewandowski 18 minutes after his introduction, poking in a Joao Mario cross from close range.

"I thought a lot", Santos told RTP, via Goal.

"I thought, well, Ronaldo did not train 100 per cent in two of the days of work". In 63rd minutes of the game, Ronaldo took control of the ball just outside of the box and took the lead of the game very carefully. Games are complicated, I tried to manage and do what was best.

Portugal chartered a specially adapted air-force plane to fly to an aerodrome near the stadium and avoid the three-hour coach journey that most teams have to face.

"We knew it was going to be hard and it was notable the team had difficulties adapting to the pitch, and then with their defence very close, [we were] lacking momentum", Santos said.

"I had to bring on Ronaldo at halftime and in the end, we won the way we wanted to". "We didn't do what we are capable of in the first half".

Silva then added a second goal himself in the final stages, taking his career total to a hugely impressive 11 goals in 16 senior caps.

Related:

Comments

Other news