After yet another mesmerizing performance from Cristiano Ronaldo, manager Fernando Santos praised his player one more time.
Cristiano Ronaldo is the only reason why Portugal won this Wednesday’s UEFA Nations League semifinal, manager Fernando Santos knows it.
The coach who took his nation’s squad to the UEFA European Championship back in 2016 is aware of how valuable Cristiano is for them.
There simply is no victory for the Portuguese squad in any competition if Ronaldo isn’t there, they are lucky that he is such a stubborn player who loves taking care of his body so much.
Other Portugal legends such as Luis Figo or Rui Costa weren’t performing at their top level when they were 34 years old.
In fact, both of these players we mentioned were pretty much thinking about retirement at the same age Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 88th goal for his country.
We need to stop for a second and wrap our head around this number, WhoScored has all the goals that Cristiano has ever scored for Portugal.
Not even Brazilian Pele scored so many goals with Brazil (77), Ronaldo will easily reach 100 if he remains at this level within a year. But we all know which record Cristiano is after.
88 goals at international level
Christiano Ronaldo keeps raising the bar for himself.💯 pic.twitter.com/XcTb0zNzDi
— Cogito Magnum (@cogitomagnum) June 6, 2019
Ronaldo is 21 goals from the ultimate record.
Between the years 1993 and 2006, Iranian striker Ali Daei scored an incredible 109 goals with his national team.
Cristiano Ronaldo surpassed Hungarian legend Ferenc Puskas’ 84 goals during the FIFA World Cup and he only has one more player to beat.
Getting to this number won’t be easy for Cristiano Ronaldo, but it is certainly not impossible if he keeps playing at this level.
The next goal for the Portugal star is next weekend at the UEFA Nations League final, where he will face either Holland or England in the last match of this competition.
Cristiano is after another major trophy with his national team after getting that European Championship back in 2016.
Manager Fernando Santos is literally running out of words to describe his greatness.
“In terms of adjectives to describe Ronaldo’s game – I have used many,” Santos said at a post-match press conference via Four Four Two.
“I was his coach in 2003 and I could see where he would go. He is a genius. There is genius paintings and sculptures and he is a football genius.”
“When someone scores three goals, they are the difference maker.”
“It was a tough game, it was well played – two sides who are very strong, playing to win. They are strategically well organized, changing their formation.”
“We were anxious on the ball and I tried to fix this at half-time. The side improved towards the end of the game.”
“They are skilled players who need the ball at their feet to show their quality.”
Most goals scored at international level in men's football:
🇮🇷 Ali Daei (109)
🇵🇹 Cristiano Ronaldo (88)
Will he reach 100?
Will he reach top spot? https://t.co/y9WQcTActi
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) June 5, 2019
Ronaldo’s upcoming season is looking very promising.
If he manages to lead his national team to this new trophy, Cristiano Ronaldo has everything to arrive completely motivated to the next season with Juventus.
The star is going to have another crack at winning the Champions League with a new manager at his club, and also some new players that the institution promised to sign in order to keep their star happy.
There is no reason for us not to think that Cristiano Ronaldo won’t at least be a title contender for every trophy he plays next season with his club.
The other challenge that is slightly further for him is the Euro 2020 qualifiers, a competition in which he will try to defend the European Championship that Portugal won with him on the bench back in 2016.
This could actually be Ronaldo’s last chance to win another major tournament with his country, but counting him out of Qatar 2022 would be extremely unwise.
He's now scored for Seleção in 16 consecutive years (2004-2019). Age 34. Hat-trick in #NationsLeague semifinal. 88 total international goals.
Phenomenon. 🇵🇹🎩💪🏽 pic.twitter.com/saJSmyw8jz
— Joga Bonito (@Jasoninho10) June 6, 2019
Use one phrase to describe Cristiano Ronaldo’s performance against Switzerland. Please leave your opinion in the comment section down below.