Portugal head coach Fernando Santos has revealed that the criticism of Cristiano Ronaldo due to his performances for Juventus has had no impact on the forward’s morale. He added that he is ready to give 100% for Portugal in the World Cup Qualifier against Azerbaijan on Wednesday.
Ronaldo came under fire after the Old Ladies were knocked out of the Champions League last 16 earlier in March by 10-man Porto who progressed to the next stage of the competition on away goals.
“When Cristiano is with the national team, he always comes with the same vision, the same passion, the same will, the same joy,” Santos said.
“He always gives 100 percent when he comes to the national team.
“I don’t think he has any problem in terms of mentality at the moment.”
Meanwhile, Ronaldo has been recently linked with a return to Real Madrid after leaving in 2018 according to reports by some Spanish media outlets. Santos added that he would be happy to talk to the player about his future.
“I give advice to Cristiano personally. I was his head coach when he was 18, and we have a close relationship,” Santos said.
“We talk a lot, but these are private conversations between friends. We don’t really have a coach-player relationship, but it is different when he is on the national team. If he asks me for any advice, I will let him know what I think.”
Portugal should start off their qualification campaign with a win against Azerbaijan at the Juventus Stadium and they are also strong favorites to win a section that also has the likes of Serbia, Luxembourg, and the Republic of Ireland.
It would be a major surprise if the Portuguese star does not add to his current record-breaking total of 102 goals in 170 games in the game against Azerbaijan on Wednesday.