Santos: ”Man United pressure doesn't affect Ronaldo’s performance”
Manchester United decided to terminate Cristiano Ronaldo's contract after a controversial interview last week. However, the Portuguese scored in his side's 3-2 victory over Ghana to become the first player to score in five separate World Cups.
's Monday game against Uruguay, Fernando Santos ruled out suggestions that club pressure would affect his captain's performance.Cristiano Ronaldo
was released by
Santos said in a press conference:
"We have players that are more visible than others and they need to deal with that, with the high priority and pressure.
"They express themselves in one particular way. There are players who are more extroverted, those more introverted, the most important thing is they play as a group, play together as one team.
"As far as Cristiano is concerned, I've known him for many years, since he was 19, we have other players that share the same personality.
"Little by little he has gained more experience, and understands this pressure, but we also take into account other players, not only Cristiano Ronaldo."
The Portugal boss continued to hail the "monster",Pepe
who is in line to play against Uruguay, at the age of 39.
"He's a monster, Pepe is a monster,"
Santos said of the defender.
"Someone who has a huge role, there's no doubt."
Asked whether he considered
all together, Santos replied:
"Of course it's possible, we did not come here with labels of one, two or three starters.
"We will line them up according to our needs, I'm serious about it. We have choices, and no player will be excluded, but we should not address this with an individual perspective, but as a collective.
"That's what we did against Ghana. In the first half we played very well, Ghana could not enter our area. In the last 30 minutes we should have been more aggressive because I know my players are capable. We were perhaps overconfident, but we can be confident if we are more aggressive.
"Our advantage is that we have a plethora of players that we can use. Our players are free to play, the only thing that I ask them is to follow my instructions. We will not hold our players on a tight leash – we let them free."
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