Cristiano Ronaldo is saving his goals for the European Championship this summer, according to Portugal boss Fernando Santos.
The Real Madrid striker missed a penalty in Portugal’s surprise 1-0 friendly defeat to Bulgaria on Friday evening. The 31-year-old has also missed from the spot twice for his club this season.
But speaking after the game, Santos said he is not concerned by Ronaldo’s penalty miss or lack of goals despite Portugal dominating the game and says he is confident the forward will be back to his best for the tournament which takes place in France in June.
He said: “In the national team, and the clubs where he’s been, Cristiano has always been a reference – always worth 40, 50 goals per season. He didn’t score against Bulgaria but he’s reserving his goals for the Euros. We created many chances but we couldn’t score. If we didn’t create then, yes, I would be apprehensive.”
Since making his debut in 2003, Ronaldo has played 123 times for his country, netting 55 goals along the way. He is the first Portuguese footballer to have scored at three World Cup finals having scored in the 2006, 2010 and 2014 editions. He is also his country’s leading scorer having overtaken Pauleta in the build up to the tournament in Brazil in 2014.