Santos: Everything Does Not Revolve Around Cristiano Ronaldo

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Portugal head coach, Fernando Santos has stated his decisions does not revolve around captain Cristiano Ronaldo, despite setting up the team to get optimum performance from him.

Portugal are known to utilise the 4-3-3 formation, but has switched to the 4-4-2 in recent times. With Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani deployed as central attackers.

The Iberian nation failed to win all three of their matches, with the Real Madrid man failing to turn up in the first two outings.

However, the former Manchester United man came alive in the match against Hungary, scoring a double.

Asked if his decision to change systems was because it suits Ronaldo, Santos told L’Equipe: “It is, but not just for this. Not everything revolves around Cristiano Ronaldo, even if he is important for our team.

“Cristiano is not a winger or a striker. That’s why, in the quest for the balance that we lacked, in my opinion we can find a better compromise in a 4-4-2.

“If we put Cristiano as a striker [in a 4-3-3], it will take away some of his potential, it will reduce his qualities. This is not imaginable.

“But if he is placed on the left, you are exposed to defensive problems.

“So Cristiano is better when in a position where he can attack the defence and the goal. This is one of his characteristics, he needs space and freedom.”

Portugal qualified for the last 16 as one of the best third-placed teams and will meet Croatia in Lens on Saturday.



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