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Bento: Portugal need more than Ronaldo

Paulo Bento said Portugal cannot rely on Cristiano Ronaldo, stressing he needed a collective effort from his team at the FIFA World Cup.

Portugal received a significant boost ahead of their Group G opener against Germany on Monday, with star captain Ronaldo declared fit to play after overcoming knee and thigh problems.

The result of Monday’s match is expected to hinge on the performance from Portugal’s all-time leading goalscorer, who has netted 49 times in 111 appearances.

However, speaking on the eve of Portugal’s fixture in Salvador, coach Bento insisted Ronaldo’s presence on the pitch did not guarantee success in Brazil.

“I think having a player like Cristiano is very important because he influences the way we play greatly,” Bento told reporters.

“He knows that and, more importantly, his team-mates know that.

“But just because we have the best player in the world doesn’t mean that we should be world champions. I know that some people in my country don’t like me to say that but it’s true.

“All 23 players have to be like a compact team in order to achieve a good result.”

Bento also hit out at FIFA for early kick-off times, with Portugal’s match against Germany scheduled for 1pm (BRT) at the Itaipava Arena Fonte Nova.

The temperature is forecast to reach 28 degrees Celsius in Salvador.

“It’s not good for everybody, for the players and the fans,” he said.

“It’s not the best way to serve the players and they are most important.”

Mon 16 Jun, 2014
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