Why Cristiano Ronaldo wasn't Portugal's first penalty taker against Chile

We will never know if Portugal would have reached the final of the Confederations Cup had Cristiano Ronaldo taken a penalty.

The Real Madrid star was scheduled to take Portugal’s fifth penalty in their shootout defeat to Chile on Wednesday.

But, of course, the shootout didn’t reach that far. Chile scored their first three penalties and Claudio Bravo saved from Ricardo Quaresma, Joao Moutinho and Nani as Portugal crashed out.

Portugal coach Fernando Santos defended his decision to leave Ronaldo to take the fifth penalty.

“That was the order we chose,” he said, per ESPN. “These three players scored their goals in the Euros.

“There’s no point thinking along those lines [that the order could have been changed after the first was saved].”

Why Ronaldo was fifth penalty taker

Ronaldo has been criticised for not stepping up to take Portugal’s first penalty but the situation was out of his hands.

According to Marca, Santos and his staff decided to conduct a draw to determine the order of penalty takers.

Ronaldo lost that draw and, as a result, was assigned the fifth penalty.

Ronaldo is usually so dependable from 12 yards and there would have been a great sense of optimism that, had he stepped, he would have scored, unlike the three who did actually take sports-kicks.

Watch: Ronaldo’s reaction to the shootout


Santos: ‘It’s my decision who takes them’

Santos refused to condemn Quaresma, Moutinho and Nani for missing, remembering their starring roles for Portugal in last year’s European Championship success.

“The goalkeeper was fantastic but the three players who failed their penalties were heroes in the European Championship against Poland,” he added.

“I always defend my players. It’s my decision who takes them.”

A decision that he no doubt regrets. While Portugal will take on Mexico in the third-fourth placed play-off, Chile will go head-to-head with Germany on Sunday for the trophy.

“Chile don’t give you a lot of space,” Santos continued after Portugal’s semi-final with Chile finished 0-0 after 120 minutes.

“We saw that with Germany; they were dominated by Chile [in a 1-1 draw] and were only able to get good plays when they moved to the wings. That’s how they scored.

“That was our plan, to get rid of the pressure and pass the ball quickly. We were successful once or twice and we were better at that time.”

Should Ronaldo have taken Portugal’s first penalty? Let us know in the comments section below!

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