Friday, November 27, 2020

Ronaldo doesn´t need to score against Andorra to break record – Santos defends benching of Portugal

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 12 Nov 2020

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Portugal head coach Fernando Santos defended his decision to start Cristiano Ronaldo on the bench against Andorra, saying the star would break the international goals record anyway.

Ronaldo came on at half-time and scored as Portugal thrashed Andorra 7-0 in a friendly in Lisbon on Wednesday.

The Juventus star moved onto 102 international goals, closing in on former Iran forward Ali Daei’s men’s record of 109.

Santos discussed his decision to start Ronaldo on the bench, saying it was partly because the forward was recently sidelined with coronavirus.

“When it comes to the idea that Cristiano Ronaldo must play [against Andorra] to score goals and break the record, well, Ronaldo does not need to score against Andorra to become the top scorer. He will be anyway,” he told a news conference.

“Therefore, he came on as a substitute and played for long enough. It’s important to understand that Ronaldo didn’t play a game for 19 days during his lockdown. He’s one of the players who need some minutes to get a competitive rhythm.

“I didn’t think it was right to put him on early in the game. Andorra were playing in the last 20 metres of the pitch just defending and tackling. It could be dangerous for us. We must look carefully at every situation.

“Anyway, I am not sure if Ronaldo was anxious to play. Every player always wants to score goals, that’s for sure.”

While Ronaldo only played a half, he had more shots (seven) than any other player, while also finishing with an assist as he claimed his 100th international victory with Portugal.

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