Claims that Portugal are “Cristiano Ronaldo and 10” come as no warn to Fernando Santos, with a Euro 2016-winning manager prepared to acknowledge that his side gaunt heavily on “the best actor in a world”.
A five-time Ballon d’Or leader is a undoubted star for his country, with his inspirational form during bar turn with Real Madrid mostly eliminated into a general arena.
He helped Portugal to European Championship excellence dual years ago, concealment essential goals en track to a final before holding on a cheerleading purpose opposite France after picking adult an hapless injury.
Ronaldo will be approaching to lead a assign again this summer, with tellurian excellence adult for grabs, though Santos insists his charges are no one-man team, notwithstanding looking to a luminary skipper for guidance.
He told Goal forward of a outing to Russia: “Cristiano is essential for any team. That was already pronounced during Manchester United and is now pronounced during Real Madrid, and we are articulate about dual of a best teams in a world.
“Of course, a best actor in a universe is an positively elemental component in any strategy, though we all know that to win we have to have a clever group and play as a team.
“In fact, he [Cristiano] has demonstrated this commitment, this suggestion of scapegoat and dedication, and his colleagues are even some-more encouraged by his example.”
Santos combined on Ronaldo and an ongoing conflict with almighty opposition Lionel Messi that will see Real Madrid and Barcelona icons close horns again in office of general honours in 2018: “There is still a lot of time left before a World Cup and we cite to analyse a present.
“Cristiano is in glorious form and we wish that it continues until and during a foe in Russia.”
Portugal will be anticipating to repeat their Euro 2016 heroics on a grandest of stages this summer, though Santos concedes that they will once again be looking to overcome as an underdog.
He said: “The favourites for a pretension are Brazil, Germany, Spain, Argentina and France.
“I contend this since of a huge recruiting bottom and a unusual peculiarity of their teams, who have a winning story and knowledge in these competitions.”
On probable targets for his side, Santos added: “If there are 5 favourites and usually 4 places in a semi-finals, we can simply see how formidable it is to strech this theatre of a competition.
“We know we are not favourites and we accept a injustice of other teams, though that does not meant that we have no aspiration and a idea of entering any diversion to win.”
Portugal will open their World Cup debate opposite geographical neighbours Spain on Jun 15, before going on to face Morocco and Iran in their other Group B fixtures.