Fernando Santos praised his star player Cristiano Ronaldo ahead of Portugal’s big Euro 2020 qualifier at Lithuania tonight.
Even at 34, Ronaldo continues to be the main man for Santos’ Portugal team and will likely head the attack in Lithuania.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner has skippered the team to two major trophies in the space of three years. These came through the Euro 2016 in France and this summer’s UEFA Nations League on home soil.
Now Ronaldo could be about to make another piece of history in breaking Robbie Keane’s record of 23 goals in the European qualifiers. Currently, he’s just two goals shy heading into tonight’s Group B clash.
“That’s something key for Cristiano Ronaldo,” Portugal boss Santos told reporters during a pre-match conference.
“It is something good for Cristiano Ronaldo, but I don’t think it is important to me what he’s done (so far).
“He continues to register amazing numbers, and I don’t have any doubts that he will continue doing that.”
Ronaldo has scored a record 89 goals in 159 appearances for Portugal at international level.
Santos added: “I have already said so many times that the team who has Cristiano Ronaldo, whatever team it is, needs to have the right conditions for him to do what he does best, which is score goals.
“If you do that, if you strength that in order for him to score goals, you have more chances to win matches.”
Portugal, who are second in Group B on five points, need victory bottom-placed side Lithuania tonight. As things stand, Luxembourg and Serbia are just a point behind tied in third-place.
Ukraine, meanwhile, sit comfortably on top with 13 points in the group table. However, they have played two more games than Portugal at the moment.
The Navigators’ showdown in Lithuania will begin at 20:45 (CET).