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Ronaldo’s goal target not Portugal’s priority, says Santos

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Records may be within Cristiano Ronaldo’s sights, but Portugal won’t be doing their star player any special favors against Croatia.

Fernando Santos has announced that Portugal won’t be tempted to help Ronaldo in his pursuit of the all-time goalscoring record in international football history.

The five-time Ballon d’Or is just seven goals shy of equaling Ali Daei’s record of 109 goals and hopes to add to his tally in Croatia on Tuesday night.

There were even suggestions that Portugal would give their skipper a helping hand by setting up more goalscoring opportunities in a game that bears no real importance anymore after their Nations League title defense ended.

“No, certainly not, nobody will be thinking about Cristiano,” said Santos in response to this rumor as quoted by A Bola.

“They [other players] will not be thinking about not scoring in order to give the chance to someone else. Even Cristiano wouldn’t want that to happen. Cristiano will score when he has to score. They [other players] will not be thinking about that.”

Ronaldo was on target in the 7-0 win friendly win over Andorra on November 11, but couldn’t supply the goods in Saturday’s 1-0 defeat to France.

The loss in Lisbon ended Portugal’s title defense in the Nations League as France won Group A3. While they’re three points behind with a game to spare, their inferior head-to-head record means there is no hope of qualifying for the finals.