Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal worried about the World Cup in Qatar

Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal worried about the World Cup in Qatar

So it can quickly go in the direction of a crisis. A few days ago, the Portuguese were praised for a sovereign 4-0 victory in the Czech Republic. After the late 0-1 against Spain, it’s not just the unlucky one Cristiano Ronaldo in question, but also the record of national coach Fernando Santos. A few weeks before the start of the World Cup in Qatar it is clear: after Germany, England or France, the next European favorite is far from its top form.

“There are things to improve so that we can be in top form at the World Cup,” Santos said shortly after missing the final tournament Nations League. For a long time, the Seleção dominated the game in Braga and also had the better chances on their side: Ronaldo missed three of the most promising ones (47th minute/72nd/90th) – twice the 37-year-old was unable to overcome Spain’s goalkeeper Unai Simón, once he hesitated too long in front of the gate. After the game, the frustrated striker quickly disappeared into the catacombs.

Messi on track with Argentina

In the coming weeks, Santos will also have to ask himself whether he is actually counting on Ronaldo in the starting XI at the World Cup. Or whether he trusts up-and-coming talents like Milan’s Rafael Leão, who could bring more variability and a positive mood to the Portuguese game.

Also Spain coach Luis Enrique will worry despite Álvaro Morata’s late winner (88′). In the first round, the ball movement of the Spaniards seemed aimless and unimaginative. It only got better with the inclusion of the exceptional talents Gavi, Yeremy, Pedri and Nico Williams. “It’s wonderful to coach these players. I could take not just 26 but 40 players to the World Cup,” said Enrique.

Ronaldo’s longtime rival Lionel Messi meanwhile, achieved another impressive mark in the Argentina national team. The former world footballer celebrated his 100th win with the South Americans in a 3-0 (1-0) win in the friendly against Jamaica. Messi, 35, came on as a second-half substitute and scored twice (86′, 89′). Messi has 90 goals in 164 games for Argentina.

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