Published: Tue, July 03, 2018
Sports | By Brandy Patterson

Portugal boss responds to Cristiano Ronaldo international future doubts

Portugal boss responds to Cristiano Ronaldo international future doubts

Uruguay boss Oscar Tabarez admits he's sweating on the fitness of Edinson Cavani after his match-winning display against Portugal.

Ronaldo showed flashes of his brilliance but was often restricted to foraging on the flanks or denied a clear shot at goal when he cut inside.

Despite being one of just five teams to have won the World Cup a couple of times and boasting two of the finest strikers in European soccer in its attack, Uruguay flew under most people's radar heading into the World Cup.

Remarkably, the pair packed their bags still never having scored in a World Cup knockout game. On the same day, Lionel Messi was sent home in Argentina's loss, the other "GOAT" at this tournament was also eliminated. "It was hard. Portugal had more possession and were often in our half of the pitch, and it would have been better for us to have more of the ball and play the game closer to their goal".

Portugal won EURO 2016 and came to Russian Federation with high expectations after the surprise title in France two years ago, its first in a major tournament.

Ronaldo nearly had a chance at goal on 20 minutes but a timely clearance by Gimenez six yards was enough to keep Ronaldo at bay.

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"We don't have a lot of time for recovery".

While Messi provided two assists in his side's valiant, albeit unsuccessful attempt to topple France, Ronaldo was responsible for a truly bad display this weekend.

Now the South American team will face France in the quarterfinals.

"The truth is, it was really exciting", Cavani said.

The Portugal captain helped his side rescue a point after scoring a hattrick against Spain in a pulsating 3-3 draw before he scored the only goal in a tight contest against Morocco.

Ronaldo did take defenders away from Pepe, allowing the defender to head in a 55th-minute equaliser, but this was a night when nobody else was able to come to the party and ease the creative burden on the Real Madrid superstar.

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They had a disappointing draw with Iceland (1:1) and a thorough beating from Croatia (0:3). Pele's great Brazil side rocked up in England having won the previous two World Cups .

That set the scene for 19-year-old Mbappe, who netted two goals in four second-half minutes to become the first teenager to score at least twice in a World Cup match since Pele in 1958.

"I said no team can win alone".

Portugal head coach Fernando Santos, however, hopes Ronaldo will continue to feature for the national side as he can help in the development of the country's next generation. "Even if he scores three goals in match, you still need to have a team to support him".

Cavani and Luis Suarez unlocked the Portuguese defense early with two incredible cross-field passes.

"Now we have a very strong opponent in France", Tabarez said.

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President Moon was photographed after the match consoling Son, tearful at the team's impending elimination from the tournament. The other match of the Group F will be between South Korea and Mexico , with South Koreans also in a must-win situation.

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