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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Cristiano Ronaldo: "I don't worry about individual records."

Image credit: Анна Нэсси.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored a historic goal to give Portugal a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Morocco (who are now eliminated from the tournament) during Group B play in Moscow. It was Cristiano's fourth goal in two games. Portugal are joint group leaders with Spain on four points.

Cristiano scored his 85th goal for Portugal which passed the European national team men's record held by the legendary Ferenc Puskás of Hungary. It was ironic that a Real Madrid player broke the record of another iconic legend of Los Blancos. Ali Daei of Iran holds the men's world record at 109 according to Paul Carr of TruMedia Networks.

Mehdi Benatia, the Juventus defender who is Morocco's captain, had at least two clear chances to equalize but was unable to convert. Unfortunately in this era of social media, Benatia may be remembered more for a simulation incident that involved Pepe of Portugal.


1. On his flash interview after the game.
2. On how well Morocco played.
3. On remarks by Portugal's manager, Fernando Santos.

Let's see what Cristiano and Mister Santos had to say.

1. On his flash interview after the game:

"I don't worry about records.

The most important thing was to win today to position ourselves to go through to the next round.

We played against a strong enough team. Morocco played well...

But we earned the three points, and we now have four (in the table). We are a step towards qualification and that is our primary objective to continue with our work.

Obviously, I'm happy to have scored the winning goal." (1)

2. On how well Morocco played:

"We knew that we were going to play against a team that would leave everything out on the pitch.

They came after us quite forcibly and they surprised us with a very high level of intensity.

We defended against them well enough.

We're going to take things game-to-game and try to finish top of our group, if possible." (2)

3. On remarks by Portugal's manager, Fernando Santos

"Clearly, Cristiano is like a Port wine. He knows how to perfect his abilities: technical, physical, tactical. And each time, he just gets better with age.

He is a player who is in constant evolution. He knows himself very well. He doesn't want to do today the same thing that he did five or six years ago. And he is not going to do it in the years that follow...

What benefits Cristiano is his solidarity with the team and his talent. All teams benefit from this and I say that we'll continue to benefit from it...

Was Ronaldo left alone? There were 66,000 people in the stadium (laughing). He can't be left alone just like many people and players. There isn't anybody who can play alone. He has a team to accompany him. 

We were playing a 4-4-2 with two men up two mobile men up front with the thought that one of them could help out in the midfield. I felt that we had lost control of that area and we had to change the formation to a 4-3-3 which isn't our style, in order to achieve numerical equality to match up with Morocco in the midfield." (3)

Portuguese sources: A Bola, 20/6/2018.
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Steve Amoia is a freelance writer and translator based in Washington, D.C. He is the publisher of World Football Commentaries since 2006 and published The Soccer Translator from 2008 to 2015. 

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