herald

Wednesday 13 December 2017

Bento refuses to single out Ronaldo for praise

PORTUGAL coach Paulo Bento refused to focus on Cristiano Ronaldo's stunning performance as Holland were swept aside 2-1.

A Euro 2012 quarter-final against the Czech Republic awaits in Warsaw on Thursday after Ronaldo scored in each half to send the Dutch home.

The 27-year-old Real Madrid winger was irrepressible as he tormented Holland's defence throughout, ensuring Portugal finished the 'group of death' as runners-up.

Ronaldo was criticised for his displays in the opening two games at Euro 2012, but Bento was reluctant to shower him with praise.

"The individual effort of players is not important," Bento said.

"The issue of the effort players show for their clubs and country we have already talked about so much. We have discussed that.

"I'm proud of what we've done as a team and satisfied that we achieved our aim brilliantly."

Portugal trailed to a fine 11th-minute strike from Rafael van de Vaart, but thereafter dominated a poor Dutch side.

"We don't claim to be favourites against the Czech Republic and it won't be easy against them," said Bento.

Holland coach Bert van Marwijk admitted his big names had failed to deliver as the Dutch finished Group B without a point.

"The players who usually make a difference for us didn't reach that level.

"Things can change very fast - Ronaldo took a lot of criticism after the first two games here but tonight he was decisive."

Promoted articles

Entertainment News