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Portugal unconcerned by Ronaldo fitness

Portugal coach Fernando Santos sees no reason to panic over Cristiano Ronaldo’s fitness ahead of Euro 2016 and hopes the prolific forward can guide Real Madrid to Champions League glory.

The 31-year-old sustained a hamstring injury in the 3-0 win over Villarreal on April 20 and consequently missed the Liga games against Rayo Vallecano and Real Sociedad, as well as the first leg of the Champions League semi-final against Manchester City – which finished goalless.

Ronaldo resumed squad training at the weekend, but there are still question marks over the severity of his injury.

Nevertheless, Santos believes the former Manchester United star will soon be back to peak fitness.

“I was worried when I saw him complain against Villarreal and then leave the pitch,” Santos told Lusa.

“But we have already been in touch about his situation and it is nothing alarming. I think things will work out just fine.

“Cristiano will be hugely motivated for the Euros anyway, but it would be a huge boost for him if he wins the Champions League. And then we will have to see how we deal with his situation and manage things.

“A player who scores 50, 60 or 70 goals per season is obviously vital for us. The amount of goals he has scored is amazing, especially if you bear in mind he is not a real striker.”

Santos briefly coached Ronaldo at Sporting CP ahead of the 2003-04 season, but he lost the attacker to United after he impressed in a friendly against the Old Trafford side.

He left Sporting after just one season in charge and he feels things could have gone differently for him had Ronaldo not left the club.

“He was already decisive for Sporting at the age of 18,” Santos added. “Unfortunately for me, I decided to play Ronaldo in that friendly against United at the Estadio Jose Alvalade.

“I was waiting for him to return from Manchester, but then a call came saying that he would not return. Had he stayed at Sporting, maybe things would have gone differently for us that season.”

Mon 2 May, 2016
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