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Christian against all odds


Four goals against Liechtenstein and Luxembourg illuminate the difficult task of Roberto Martínez of matching the captain with the young talents of Portugal

Cristiano Ronaldo is back.

Against an increasingly influential group in the dressing room of the Portugal team, in favor of a regeneration led by Bruno Fernandes and Bernardo Silva.

Against the fans —70% of those surveyed by the newspaper

A Bola

they opposed her starting in Qatar—tired of seeing one of the best squads in Europe along with France crash in the early stages of major tournaments.

Against Fernando Santos, the most successful coach in the history of the national team, already resigned.

Against Antonio Costa, the country's prime minister, who publicly supported Santos.

Against the decadent biology of his 38-year-old body, less and less capable of repeating efforts, inexorably slower in the actions that determine the precision of the shots.

Against the decline of his competitive activity, confined as he is in the Saudi Arabian League.

After 18 official matches played without being able to open the scoring with a goal from play, Cristiano again scored the first for his team.

He did it against Luxembourg, this Sunday, when Nuno Mendes took down a cross from Bruno Fernandes for him to push him into the six-yard box.

They did not stop him Maxime Chanot, central New York City;

nor Marvin Martins, defender of the Austria of Vienna;

nor Lars Gerson, defender of the Konsvinger of the Norwegian league.

The Portuguese fans celebrated as if it had been the goal in the Eurocup final.

Almost as enthusiastically as the old idol, happy to be able to re-choreograph his scream and patented jump once more.

The appearance of reconciliation was completed when Bruno Fernandes - who disapproved of him on camera so many times - came to congratulate him.

The new coach, Roberto Martínez, did not take long to give him his blessing.

“He is a unique player in the world!” Said the Spanish coach.

"He has the most international matches and that experience for the locker room is very important."

With two goals against Luxembourg and two against Liechtenstein in the first matches of the Euro 2024 qualifying round, Cristiano embellishes his resume.

He has 122 goals in 198 international matches.

The performance is something of a resurgence.

After going to the reserve for sending Fernando Santos to hell during the World Cup in Qatar - the disavowal was broadcast on television - his destiny as an international hung by a thread.

The thread of Fernando Gomes, president of a federation fully aware that 80% of the six million euros in annual profits are due to his all-time goalscorer.

According to sources close to the FPF, the succulent sponsorship contracts with companies such as Nike or Galp depend on Cristiano.

A new cycle with Cristiano

The signing of Roberto Martínez to start the new cycle was immediately linked to the reinstatement of Cristiano.

The first thing the coach did was visit him in Saudi Arabia.

Invested again as captain, the Al-Sadd player did what


nines usually do at the end of their careers: everything good that their teams produce progresses or gets stuck when it passes through them.

If in the World Cup, against Morocco, Uruguay or Korea, the flow of play from Portugal led into Cristiano's funnel with catastrophic effects - he scored just one goal against Ghana, from a penalty - against Luxembourg and Liechtenstein, another semi-professional team, the power from Portugal was reflected in Cristiano's successful photo.

Joao Félix, Bernardo Silva, Bruno Fernandes, William Carvalho, Raphael Guerreiro, Diogo Dalot and Ruben Dias make up one of the best squads in Europe.

Some of its members openly expressed their support for Santos when he left Cristiano on the bench in Qatar.

Reluctant to self-criticize, on his return Cristiano pointed to his detractors.

"Everything that happens in life has a reason," he warned.

"I'm grateful that I've been through some things so I can see who's on my side."

Fernando Santos did not know how to reformulate the role of Cristiano to associate him with the youngest talents.

Nor did he have the courage to rebuild the team without him.

Luxembourg and Liechtenstein only serve to gain time.

The real challenge for Roberto Martínez begins now.

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Source: elparis

All sports articles on 2023-03-29

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