“There are many who deserve to be in the XI and aren’t” - Roberto Martinez hints Cristiano Ronaldo and other Portugal stars could be rested

Portugal manager Roberto Martinez (L) and forward Cristiano Ronaldo
Portugal manager Roberto Martinez (left) and forward Cristiano Ronaldo

With their Euro 2024 knockouts berth secured, Portugal manager Roberto Martinez has hinted at resting Cristiano Ronaldo and other key players for their final group game against Georgia on Wednesday (June 26).

A Selecao clinched Group F with a 3-0 win over Turkey in Dortmund on Saturday (June 2@) on a record-breaking night for Ronaldo. While the Al-Nassr forward was unable to find the net, his unselfishly set up Bruno Fernandes for his side’s third, making him the joint-record assist provider in competition history.

Ronaldo has eight European Championship assists, level with Czech Republic legend Karol Poborsky. The 39-year-old started both games, so resting him for the final group game will keep him fresh for the knockouts.

Martinez hinted at the same (via O JOGO):

“We're going to rotate some players. There are many who deserve to be in the 11 and aren't. The difficulty is to use everyone. It's to see in training those who are doing well, and we're going to use all the players.”
“They all play an important part in the national team. There are days when they need to be on the bench, others when they have to be on the field,” he added.

Martinez also praised Ronaldo for his assist, saying that it's a moment that should be “shown in all training academies in Portugal and the world.”

“About Cristiano Ronaldo, today I saw something spectacular. In front of the goalkeeper, he preferred to pass to Bruno Fernandes. This should be shown in all training academies in Portugal and the world,” the Portugal manager said.

A Selecao play Georgia in Gelserkirchen on Wednesday.


Bruno Fernandes praises Cristiano Ronaldo’s selfless assist in Portugal’s win over Turkey

Bruno Fernandes and Cristiano Ronaldo (facing)
Bruno Fernandes and Cristiano Ronaldo (facing)

Portugal midfielder Bruno Fernandes has lauded his captain Cristiano Ronaldo for his selfless assist in the 3-0 Euro 2024 win over Turkey. The former Manchester United teammates combined for A Selecao’s third goal at the Signal Iduna Park to put the game beyond Turkey.

Ronaldo was put through on goal in the 55th minute from a long ball over the Turkish defence. He was one-on-one with goalkeeper Altay Bayindir and could’ve attempted to score a record-breaking first goal in this year’s tournament.

However, he put the team ahead of personal milestones, squaring the ball for an unmarked Fernandes to tap-in and confirm Roberto Martinez's men as Group F winners. Fernandes said in his post-match comments:

“Everyone loves to score goals, but that is not the most important thing, and that is reflected in my goal, because Cristiano is our best goalscorer, and when he could score, he passed it to me.”

Ronaldo is now the oldest assist provider in Euro history.

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Edited by Bhargav
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