Portugal manager Roberto Martinez has praised Cristiano Ronaldo for his commitment and dedication to continue improving all the time. He stated that such qualities are often seen in young players, but the 38-year-old still pushes himself.
Ronaldo played his 200th match for Portugal on Tuesday night and helped them defeat Iceland 1-0. He scored the only goal of the match in the 89th minute of the UEFA EURO Qualifiers encounter.
Speaking to the media after the match, Martinez could not stop himself from heaping praise on the Al Nassr star. He was quoted by RECORD as saying:
"When you're out, you don't know the secret. Playing until he was 38, playing the games he played... When you're with him, you understand why. His commitment, his total dedication, that incredible desire to be the best and improve everyone. It's something we see in very young players.
"It's something I learned from him: you can always be young with experience. I must say that Pepe brought the same thing to this stage. A 40-year-old player, but you look at every training session, every action matters, every duel is like the first or the last."
"I think Cristiano has that freshness. The physical data against Bosnia was fantastic, so he was able to play the full 90 minutes in both games. And now, I start to better understand the physical appearance of the players and see who can play more than two games in 72 hours.
"And Cristiano did not surprise me with his ability; after 200 games for the national team, you can imagine the commitment; being at the highest level, it could be very easy to accept that you will not be at your best."
Portugal do not play any more matches until September.
Cristiano Ronaldo receives Guinness World Record award
Cristiano Ronaldo received a Guinness World Record award ahead of the match against Iceland on Tuesday. He became the first male footballer to play 200 matches for his national team.
Ronaldo has scored 123 goals for the national team in 200 matches. He has played another 34 matches for the youth sides and the Olympic Team while scoring 17 times in those games.
Cristiano Ronaldo has no plans to retire any time soon and has repeatedly stated that he wants to continue playing.