Ronaldo to stay grounded
sports Updated: Jun 10, 2016 07:26 IST
MADRID: Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo has urged his team mates not to get carried away by the 7-0 romp over Estonia ahead of their campaign at the Euro 2016.
The 31-year-old forward, warming up for his side’s Group F opener against Iceland on Tuesday in Saint-Etienne, made his first appearance with Portugal this summer in Lisbon on Wednesday night.
“It was just a friendly and even though we won 7-0, it doesn’t mean anything,” Ronaldo was quoted as saying by AS newspaper.
“We must keep our feet firmly on the ground. The team played very well and we are all physically well.
“We are on the right path but we have to keep our feet firmly on the ground.”
Ronaldo started and scored Portugal’s opening two goals before being replaced by Nani in the 46th minute.
“I would have liked to have played more but it was better to manage my time on the pitch and give others an opportunity to play,” he said.
The Portugal captain was not fit at the World Cup in Brazil two years ago due to a tendonitis problem and his national team failed to progress from the group stages.
Ronaldo was bothered by muscular problems at the end of this season with Real Madrid yet helped his club beat Atletico Madrid in the Champions League final in Milan last month.
He finished the campaign with 51 goals in 48 games in all competitions for Real.
“I’m not at my best,” Ronaldo admitted. “But there is still a week to go before we start Euro 2016 and I have time to improve.”
Portugal reached the semifinals four years ago but were eliminated by Spain on penalties and Fernando Santos’s men are looking to go all the way in France.
“The group stage is the most important thing and then we will see,” Ronaldo said.
“We have to take it one step at a time.
LAST STAR TO ARRIVE
Ronaldo became the last of the football superstars to arrive in France. With the host nation under a state of emergency over feared terror attacks, strict security has greeted Ronaldo and other headline players as well as the hundreds of thousands of foreign fans gathering for the fiesta.
France launch the tournament with a Group A game against Romania on Friday at the Stade de France which was one of the targets of the November 13 attacks last year.
“It has been a long season. I would have liked to have played more tonight, but I need to hold back and give others playing time.”