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Santos defends Ronaldo for Iceland showing

dpadpa 17/06/2016

Portugal coach Fernando Santos has refused to criticise star Cristiano Ronaldo for his modest opening performance at Euro 16.

Portugal coach Fernando Santos is refusing to criticise star Cristiano Ronaldo for a modest performance in the Euro opener against Iceland or his critical remarks after the surprise 1-1 draw.

Santos insisted on Friday that Ronaldo had been fouled on the pitch and heckled from the Iceland bench during the game before he dismissed them as having "a small mentality".

"When people talk about fair play it makes me laugh," Santos said.

"We have feelings and sometimes we respond."

He said the remarks came "after other people had shown lack of respect".

Ronaldo was among the Portuguese who wasted chances and was not at his best in the game but Santos would have none of it when asked ahead of Saturday's date with Austria how important the Real Madrid star was for the team.

"He is the best player in the world, what else can I say?

"How relevant do you think he is? I respect the question but he is best player in the world. That's it."

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