Ronaldo lacked efficiency, says Portugal coach

Reuters, Wednesday 13 Jun 2012

Cristiano Ronaldo is a great player who was "inefficient" at key moments, Portugal coach Paulo Bento said in defense of his below-par display in their 3-2 win against Denmark at Euro 2012

Cristiano Ronaldo
Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo reacts during the Euro 2012 soccer championship Group B match between Denmark and Portugal in Lviv, Ukraine, Wednesday, June 13, 2012 (Photo: AP)

Bento, who said his side could have won the Group B game with less suffering, denied that Ronaldo was frustrated with his display and rejected suggestions the forward was under pressure.

"He is a player of enormous ability who was not efficient in a couple of situations he found himself in," Bento told reporters.

"He has played two good games. There is not a single player among the 23 in the squad who feel any sense of frustration, they all have feelings of happiness and satisfaction and a sense of responsibility for the game in four days' time."

"He's not under pressure from us, he's here to help us resolve our problems."

Defender Pepe also stood up for his captain.

"Cristiano Ronaldo is the best player in the world but even the best make mistakes, so we're here to support him," he said.

"He's just one more player in the team, he can't carry Portugal on his back, it was his turn to make a mistake today but he helped make it possible for us to be here in the first place."

Portugal needed an 87th-minute goal from substitute Silvestre Varela to win, having just conceded an equalizer.

"Their equalizer was unfair at that stage of the match. We could have won the game more comfortably and with less suffering," said Bento.

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