Cristiano Ronaldo’s spirits excessive regardless of Juventus setbacks, says Portugal coach Fernando Santos

Cristiano Ronaldo’s spirits excessive regardless of Juventus setbacks, says Portugal coach Fernando Santos

Ronaldo has been beneath fireplace in Italy after Juve’s Champions League last-16 exit to Porto and the weekend defeat by Benevento which left them 10 factors behind Serie A leaders Inter Milan.

Cristiano Ronaldo's spirits high despite Juventus setbacks, says Portugal coach Fernando Santos

Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo failed to attain in both leg of the Champions League final 16 defeat to FC Porto. AP

Turin: Portugal coach Fernando Santos insisted on Tuesday that Cristiano Ronaldo’s morale has been unaffected by current disappointments with Juventus.

European champions Portugal play their opening  in opposition to Azerbaijan on the Juventus Stadium in Turin on Wednesday, because of coronavirus journey restrictions.

Ronaldo has been beneath fireplace in Italy after Juve’s Champions League last-16 exit to Porto and the weekend defeat by Benevento which left them 10 factors behind Serie A leaders Inter Milan.

Describing the 36-year-old Ronaldo as a “excellent good friend”, Santos mentioned he discovered the participant to be in excessive spirits.

“We have all the time been shut to one another, excellent mates, we do not actually have a coach-player relationship,” the 66-year-old Santos advised a press convention.

“(Ronaldo) actually represents nice high quality, he all the time exhibits nice happiness and pleasure when he is with the workforce.”

Ronaldo is bidding to interrupt Ali Daei’s all-time males’s worldwide goalscoring document, with the previous Actual Madrid attacker solely seven targets wanting the Iranian’s mark of 109.

“He is an necessary participant, in all probability the perfect on this planet,” added Santos. “I do not assume he has any downside by way of mentality in the intervening time.”

Portugal have certified for the World Cup finals seven occasions, reaching the semi-finals in 1966 and 2006.

Alongside Ronaldo, they boast an array of attacking expertise, together with Manchester United star Bruno Fernandes, Atletico Madrid teenager Joao Felix and Liverpool’s Diogo Jota.

And after profitable their first main title at Euro 2016, Santos believes the World Cup “isn’t actually a dream, however one thing that may undoubtedly come true”.

“We all know Ronaldo all the time needs to beat new trophies, however all of the gamers need to win the World Cup,” he mentioned.

“We will battle to change into the world champions.”

Regardless of fifth-ranked Portugal being favourites in opposition to Azerbaijan, ranked 108th, Santos warned: “We mustn’t underestimate anybody. We all know Azerbaijan will be fairly harmful on the counter-attack.”

Though defender Pepe is out after struggling an harm whereas enjoying for membership facet Porto, Ruben Dias believes the veteran’s absence “will change nothing”.

“We now have a really clear enjoying thought. We won’t rely on only one single participant. We now have to adapt, there might be different gamers,” mentioned the Manchester Metropolis defender.

“We wish Portugal to be recognised as a very necessary workforce.

“What we’re doing right here is preventing for the World Cup.

“We now have nice ambitions, we need to win. Cristiano is clearly basic for the nationwide workforce.

“We’re attempting to combine the brand new gamers with Cristiano to create a brand new workforce.”

The European champions additionally journey to Serbia on Saturday and Luxembourg three days later.

 

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