Portugal prepared to play in the World Cup with victory, but the preparations for the game were marred by an explosive interview conducted by Ronaldo during the week.
Lisbon: Talisman Cristiano Ronaldo was not available due to illness, but Bruno Fernandes’ brace helped Portugal make light work of Nigeria by securing a 4-0 win in a friendly match on Thursday.
Fernando Santos’s Portugal prepared ahead of this year’s World Cup with a victory in Lisbon but preparations for the game were marred by a shocking interview with Ronaldo earlier in the week.
The 37-year-old striker yelled on his team Manchester United, where he has been a bit unpopular under new coach Erik Ten Hag. He was also diagnosed with gastroenteritis.
It took only nine minutes to break the deadlock with Nigeria which were unable to make it to this year’s World Cup for the first time since 2006.
A pair of Ronaldo’s Manchester United team-mates combined for the win The goal was scored by Diogo Dalot helping Fernandes to win after he sprinted to a superb Joao Felix cross.
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Felix who is often a sidelined player in the past at Atletico Madrid, was in top form to make sure Ronaldo wasn’t missed as Fernandes was captain’s penalty duties and scored his second goal before the break.
A chilly exchange in the dressing room with Ronaldo and Fernandes has been the focus of media attention earlier this week, however, It was the midfielder that stepped into the spotlight against Nigeria.
Fernandes shot wide before the break and missed an opportunity to complete a first-half hat trick.
Ronaldo the record-breaking appearance maker, and also the greatest goal scorer of all time in international soccer with 191 goals He is scheduled to return to Portugal for the World Cup opener against Ghana on the 24th of November, but Portugal’s supporters were thrilled with the absence of Ronaldo prior to their departure to Qatar.
Nigeria could have come in the second half, but Rui Patricio snuffed out Emmanuel Dennis’ penalty in the 81st minute after an errant Dalot move close to the goal was penalized.
Benfica forward as well as Portugal newcomer Goncalo Ramos struck the ball home after Raphael Guerreiro’s unselfish cutback in the third minute of the game.
Joao Mario managed to steal the fourth following a superb move that involved Felix again and a slick touch from Ramos the perfect ending for an outstanding, lively attack to counter the criticism that Santos’s football is negative.
It also served as a method to reduce the noise surrounding Ronaldo however that is rare for long when the European star recuperates and gets ready for the fifth World Cup.