Portugal coach believes the Portuguese superstar will break records whether he’s benched or not.
Fernando Santos stood by his decision to haveCristiano Ronaldo
on the bench in their game against Andorra. The 35-year-old who joined his international team half-time scored one of their seven goals against their opponent and had more shots than any other player on the pitch. The team’s coach explained his decision for sidelining the player saying it was because of his recent absence from the pitch due to Coronavirus.
"When it comes to the idea that Cristiano Ronaldo must play [against Andorra] to score goals and break the record, well, Ronaldo does not need to score against Andorra to become the top scorer. He will be anyway," he told a news conference.
"Therefore, he came on as a substitute and played for long enough. It's important to understand that Ronaldo didn't play a game for 19 days during his lockdown. He's one of the players who need some minutes to get a competitive rhythm.
"I didn't think it was right to put him on early in the game. Andorra were playing in the last 20 metres of the pitch just defending and tackling. It could be dangerous for us. We must look carefully at every situation.
"Anyway, I am not sure if Ronaldo was anxious to play. Every player always wants to score goals, that's for sure."
Santos further added that he would have chosen to train for their upcoming match with France rather than playing against Andorra.
"I said before the game that I would rather train and prepare for the next game instead of playing. I believe it would have been better for us," he said.
"But I also said that given that wasn't the case, we should make the most of the game. And that means being fully focused, playing with a good attitude as we always do and it's normally difficult to do that in these types of friendlies. And the team has responded really well, just as I wanted.
"We had full control of the game, it was a solid performance and Andorra never had a chance. And that was thanks to the players, their organisation, effort and focus."