PPortugal and Hungary will face each other, this Tuesday, in Budapest, from 5 pm, for the first duel of Group F of Euro’2020.
Fernando Santos and Cristiano Ronaldo, this Monday afternoon, previewed the match against the Magyar formation.
Check below the statements made by the selector and the captain of the corner selection.
Statements by Fernando Santos
The statistics give Portugal an advantage over its Magyar counterparts: I don’t look at statistics, I look at the games that Hungary played with Iceland, in the play-off, with Poland, and more recently with Ireland. And I look at the Hungarian selector’s statements. That’s what matters to me. I see a team that will have great support from the public, and that will force us to be at our highest level. Hardly any team will be better at the level of the organization and will have a more fervent public support, and these were things said by the Hungarian selector and which I pay close attention to. Quality is not enough to win games. I expect Hungary to come in very strong and that will play eye to eye with Portugal, looking to play in the whole field. They like to play from behind, with a very interesting midfield and then with two very strong strikers.
Did Dalot’s choice to replace Cancelo be due to the fact that he had recently been competing in the under-21s? Of course. It wasn’t just that, after all we are also talking about a player of enormous quality and who has shown it. We are talking about a player who is doing very well in the under-21 and who has to be competing at the highest level in the clubs where he is now, of course the fact that he has been competing for six years also helped.
Does Portugal have more responsibility than in 2016? Portugal has always assumed the desire to win a great competition. Of course, from 2016 onwards everything changed. In 2016 we already had the confidence to reach that goal and now we are also assuming the candidacy of achieving a victory at Wembley, as other teams will also have.
Importance of Raphael Guerreiro for the team? The important thing for me is the collective and not the individuality. Now of course your creativity is important, but I look at things from the collective point of view. If you win one, we win them all.
Expected between 4 and 5 thousand Portuguese fans. Quite different from what happened in 2016. What message would you like to leave to the Portuguese? In France we were also always behind in numbers, but we were always better. Here we will have over 11 million cheering us on. There is always a Portuguese vibrating for us. I want to tell all the Portuguese that we are going to give everything to make the Portuguese happy.
Rui Patrício, Nelson Semedo, Rúben Dias, Pepe, Raphael Guerreiro, William Carvalho, Rúben Neves, Bruno Fernandes, Bernardo Silva, Jota and Ronaldo. Would you like this eleven as a fan, as a Portuguese and as a selector? [Risos] I understand the issue, but I can’t put myself in that role.
Statements by Cristiano Ronaldo
Where do you feel most comfortable playing? I feel comfortable playing up front, whether it’s left, right, in the middle, further back, wherever it’s best for the team. Here the important thing is for the team to win, any position is good for me.
Presence at the fifth European. How do you see this record? It’s a good record, but a better record would be to win two Europeans in a row, that for me was a better record. The team is doing well and has been working well since the 27th. We are prepared. I hope that tomorrow we start on the right foot, after all, it’s crucial to get well in this competition.
How can Covid influence the Selection? Concentration is not there. It was a shame John [Cancelo] have been positive, but we are not thinking about that. The Covid theme is already tiring and not only the players, but also the world population. We have to know how to live with this. The team is focused and prepared for the game. Everything that comes from outside is not our concern.
Will Hungary be better or worse than the one we faced in 2016? We will see this at the end of the game. Now we have to focus exclusively on us. We worked very well these 10/12 days. If teams want to win this competition they have to be prepared for all circumstances.
Does it make you sleepy not knowing where you’re going to play next season? I’ve been playing at a high level for 18 years and it doesn’t even tickle me now. If I had started my career now, maybe I wouldn’t sleep a little at night, thinking about my future. Now, at 36, whatever comes will be for the good, regardless of whether I stay at Juventus or not. Now all I need to do is think about the European and start off on the right foot, as if this were my first Euro.
The last time the national team started to win was in 2008. What has Portugal been missing at the start of competitions? IThat doesn’t mean anything in my opinion. It’s always important to start winning, because that gives morale, now if they tell me that tomorrow we start losing and then we win the competition, obviously I’ll opt for that. The team is physically and emotionally prepared to do a great competition. I’m sure we’re going to make a big Euro.
Differences for the 2016 team: It’s not the same team. It is a younger team, with enormous potential and only the competition will tell us if we are better or worse than in 2016. On a personal level I am not the best player that 18, 10 or 5 years ago. I had to adapt to the reality that football is today. My times have always been positive, because I always think about achieving personal and collective goals, and I have managed to achieve them, and this is due to my adaptability.
Attendance at the stadiums: All stadiums should always be full. It’s beautiful for those at the stadium and for those watching at home, now the pandemic has destroyed it. Now, for me, the stadiums were always full.
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