Paulo Bento defends decision not to play Cristiano Ronaldo as striker

Portugal's Portuguese manager Paulo Bento speaks to journalists after a training session for Portugal national football team at Windsor Park in Belfast, Northern Ireland on September 5, 2013
© Getty Images
Paulo Bento defends his decision not to use Cristiano Ronaldo in a central attacking position during Portugal's World Cup campaign.

Portugal head coach Paulo Bento has insisted that he was right not to play Cristiano Ronaldo as a striker during the team's disappointing World Cup campaign.

There were calls for Ronaldo to be deployed in a central position throughout the group stages, but Bento claims that he has no regrets about his choice despite failing to secure a spot in the last 16.

"I never thought of Ronaldo as the spearhead. It was not on my mind to put Ronaldo as the only centre-forward since the beginning of the tournament," he told TV1.

"I think it's not the best for his goal tally and for the team. We talked about it, of course. He did not seem to feel comfortable in that position but it was not necessary for him to tell me that."

Ronaldo was forced to battle a knee problem during his time in Brazil as Portugal could only finish third, behind Germany and the USA, in Group G.

Portugal's forward and captain Cristiano Ronaldo reacts during the Group G football match between Portugal and Ghana at the Mane Garrincha National Stadium in Brasilia during the 2014 FIFA World Cup on June 26, 2014
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