“I think he showed players that to win, you have to do something that will make the team win”- Manuel Fernandes on how Cristiano Ronaldo acts as an inspiration to the players of the Portuguese National Team

Manuel Fernandes, Ex-Portuguese star praises Cristiano Ronaldo's hard work and determination that has taken Portugal so far.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Fernandes

In an exclusive interview with GOAL.com, the former Portsmouth and Everton midfielder Manuel Fernandes hailed Cristiano Ronaldo for his worth ethic and for his efforts to uplift the Portuguese National Team over the last decade. Fernandes even mentioned that although the Portuguese Team never lacked the winning mentality, Ronaldo simply took it to the next level.

According to Fernandes, Cristiano Ronaldo has the ability to take everything off the players once they are on the pitch. He further stressed that CR7’s work ethic towards every game in the Portugal jersey makes him a different player from other Portuguese Legends. 

“I think he started to rub off on players, I believe that. I’m not saying that before we didn’t want to win, but I think he showed players that to win, you have to do something that will make the team win,” said Fernandes.

“It is easy to say ‘I want to win’, but are you putting the extra effort to do so? What are you doing? Cristiano showed that if you do everything you can do, then you can go to the next level and achieve incredible things. I think that was a good influence for all Portuguese players,” added the former Everton player.

What all Cristiano Ronaldo has achieved with the Portuguese National Team?

Cristiano Ronaldo has always been the talisman and the most hardworking player on the pitch, whenever he wears that Captain’s band for his national team. Ronaldo is the all-time top goal scorer for Portugal and also the all-time top International Goal Scorer in the World. He led Portugal to their first major international trophy in EURO 2016, when they lifted the trophy after beating the mighty France side in the finals.

Ronaldo also led Portugal to glory at the 2019 UEFA Nations League, scoring a hat-trick against Switzerland in the semi-finals. The Portuguese team then defeated the Netherlands in the finals to win their second major international trophy.

It was the first time in the history of Portugal, they won a trophy under Ronaldo’s leadership. Unfortunately, Ronaldo couldn’t continue the game after an injury but his boys did it for him. A big question arises who would fill in the shoes of Cristiano after his retirement. The Qatar World Cup could prove to be his last major international tournament. 

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