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Portugal Coach Santos Relishes Winning Options Without Ronaldo

Portugal Coach Santos Relishes Winning Options Without Ronaldo

Portugal coach Fernando Santos is thrilled to see his side thrive with options that plugged the void left by the absence of their talismanic striker and captain, Cristiano Ronaldo, in Monday’s 1-0 win over Italy in an UEFA Nations League fixture.

Prior to their Monday’s Monday’s win against Italy, Portugal also played 1–1 draw with 2018 FIFA World Cup finalists Croatia in an international friendly match.

Santa believes Portugal will be a different prospect with the return of Cristiano Ronaldo, but says his side will be stronger in the long term for having more options.

Juventus star Ronaldo was absent during the international window, choosing to rest up having played the World Cup and with the domestic season set to truly kick into gear with the return of the Champions League.

Andre Silva was the difference maker in Lisbon and head coach Santos, while eagerly anticipating the return of his leading marksman, is happy with how his team stepped up without Ronaldo.

“I think my team gets stronger with the best in the world [Ronaldo]. Obviously. We will always be strong with the world’s number one,” he said.

“But he was not there. Therefore, I think the players who have been called up took advantage of the opportunity to play here, knowing the great confidence I had in them.

“They tried to do their best in training and games, they followed our ideas and that is good for Portuguese football. Well, Portuguese football is stronger with more options.

“I believe in this team, if we are in a favourable position, it is because we have more options and we can go further. I believe in this team and I always believed.”

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