Lisbon, June 16 (IANS) Portuguese national team coach Fernando Santos has said he has decided to remove exhausted striker Cristiano Ronaldo from the squad ahead of Tuesday’s friendly against Italy.
Santos said in a press conference on Monday that after Saturday’s clash against Armenia, the physical and mental condition of some players were discussed, and he believes he made the right decision, reports Efe.
Ronaldo was the star of the away Euro 2016 qualifiers, scoring a hat trick to secure a decisive 3-2 victory in Yerevan, Armenia.
Ronaldo scored five of Portugal’s seven goals in the qualifiers, in which his team leads its group.
Santos considered it normal that the team depends on players of Ronaldo’s calibre, and admitted that his team’s performance against Armenia was not the best, but at the same time praised the team’s effort and sacrifice to achieve victory.