Georgina Rodriguez, the partner of Cristiano Ronaldo, has criticized Portugal manager Fernando Santos for benching the forward in their shocking World Cup quarterfinal loss to Morocco.

Ronaldo was benched on Tuesday when Portugal faced Switzerland in the round of 16, and Goncalo Ramos scored a hat-trick in his place. As a result, Santos chose Ramos over Ronaldo again against Morocco.

This choice proved unsuccessful because Portugal could not advance and was eliminated after Youssef En-first-half Nesyri’s goal. Rodriguez criticized Santos for not making the substitution earlier after Ronaldo entered the game six minutes after the half but was unable to change the outcome in his team’s favor.

Cristiano Ronaldo was left out of Portugal’s starting line-up in their loss to Morocco.
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His partner Georgina Rodriguez hit out at manager Fernando Santos for not starting Ronaldo.

Rodriguez shared the following on Instagram alongside a photo of Ronaldo: ‘Today your friend and coach decided wrong. That friend who has garnered so much praise and respect from you.

“The same one who saw how everything changed by bringing you into the game, but it was too late.” His most potent tool, the best player in the world, cannot be undervalued.

‘Nor can you stick up for someone who doesn’t deserve it. Life teaches us lessons. Today we have not lost; we have learned.’

Rodriguez’s remarks follow Santos’s insistence that he and Ronaldo haven’t split up and that they still have a “very close relationship” despite the latter’s decision to be benched.

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Rodriguez was in the stands supporting Portugal as they were knocked out of the World Cup.

Rodriguez thinks Ronaldo had a positive impact after coming on as a substitute, even though the full-time statistics indicate that he had trouble contributing in the second half.

Once he entered the game, the 37-year-old only managed 10 touches and one shot, which Morocco goalkeeper Bono expertly blocked.

Elma Aveiro, Ronaldo’s sister, also reacted to the defeat by urging the Portugal players to remain optimistic despite the setback.

‘Sad for the team, now it’s time to raise our heads and move on… God knows everything,’ posted a message on Instagram.

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Ronaldo’s sister Elma Aveiro urged Portugal’s players to keep their heads up after the loss.

Aveiro also shared a post on her Instagram with the hashtag #SantosOut, as she appeared to indicate that it is time for the Portugal boss to leave his role.

Ronaldo was looking to win the World Cup for the fifth time of asking, but he has fallen short once again, and Portugal has now failed to reach the semi-finals since 2006.

He will be 41 by the time the next World Cup comes around, but his immediate focus is now expected to turn to where he will be playing his club football, with the forward-looking for a new team after having his United contract terminated last month.

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