Cristiano Ronaldo’s transfer from Juventus to Manchester United had already been more than enough to give him the spotlight of the Portuguese media lately. And now that he scored a brace at his new debut with the Red Devils, it’s needless to say he’s been getting a lot of attention in his home country.
So as national team manager Fernando Santos spoke to SIC Notícias on Sunday night, a good-humoured question was what his job is apart from telling players to pass the ball to the team’s biggest star.
“Yesterday he showed why they were passing the ball to him,” Fernando Santos told SIC Notícias (via Record).
The coach then remembered that he was in charge of Sporting for that famous game where Cristiano Ronaldo managed to impress Sir Alex Ferguson, who signed him soon after.
“In 2003 it was the same, I had the misfortune of playing him against Manchester United. I stayed without him. After all that he did, those that arrive, it’s normal [to pass him the ball] for everything he did. Players can decide games, but not titles. That’s collectively.”
“When he was a kid at Sporting, a few days later, I called him into my office and said he had some problems in the air. The other day, when I arrived, there were already four or five players there. The others were crossing for him and him trying to jump higher and higher.”
Now under Fernando Santos at the national team, Cristiano Ronaldo won the Euros in 2018, the Nations League in 2019 and became the top scorer ever in international football with 111 goals. So the manager still had a second chance to coach him after all.