MX23RW : Wednesday, December 12 22:07:18

Fernando Santos laughs off Cristiano Ronaldo criticism

Portugal boss Fernando Santos hails Cristiano Ronaldo following comments made by Fabio Capello about the Real Madrid forward.

Portugal boss Fernando Santos has rejected claims from Fabio Capello that Real Madrid's recent slump in form is down to the performances of Cristiano Ronaldo.

Earlier this week, former Real Madrid boss Capello said that Los Blancos have drawn their last four games in all competitions because Ronaldo is currently struggling to find his best form.

Santos, however, has leapt to the defence of his captain ahead of Friday's 2018 World Cup qualifier at home to Andorra, where Ronaldo will earn his 134th Portugal cap.

"I respect Capello a lot, but honestly it would mean more if those comments came from Zidane. When you have the best player in the world, it becomes difficult, Cristiano is Cristiano - he always want to be available for Portugal," Santos told reporters.

"He carries great value, especially with the younger players and that's very important in a team where many players are young. He has won many titles, but he always wants to win more and more - a lot of our team have won a title, but do not have many career titles.

"It's so important to have a winner in the team, as it guides the others - his presence gives everybody else strength and he guides them."

Ronaldo has only scored one league goal for Real Madrid this season.


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Greece's Portuguese coach Fernando Santos is pictured during a group C football match between Colombia and Greece at the Mineirao Arena in Belo Horizonte during the 2014 FIFA World Cup on June 14, 2014
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Barcelona1594241192231
2Sevilla1584327161128
3Atletico MadridAtletico1577121101128
4Real Madrid158252319426
5AlavesAlaves157351817124
6Levante156452725222
7Real Betis156451617-122
8Getafe155641612421
9GironaGirona155641717021
10Espanyol156361720-321
11Celta Vigo155552824420
12Real Valladolid155551315-220
13Real Sociedad155461818019
14EibarEibar155461923-419
15Valencia153931212018
16Leganes154561519-417
17Villarreal153571519-414
18Athletic Bilbao152851523-814
19Rayo Vallecano152491530-1510
20Huesca1514101230-187

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