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“They can play together” – Portugal coach Roberto Martinez hypes up Cristiano Ronaldo partnership with 22-year-old teammate

Portugal manager Roberto Martinez has affirmed that forwards Cristiano Ronaldo and Goncalo Ramos can play together and complement each other.

Former manager Fernando Santos started Ramos in Portugal’s 2022 FIFA World Cup Round of 16 clash against Switzerland, benching Ronaldo. Ramos scored a hat-trick and also started in the quarter-final against Morocco, where they lost 1-0.

The 22-year-old has, however, scored seven goals and provided two assists in 10 games for A Selecao so far. Meanwhile, Cristiano Ronaldo has also found his form under Roberto Martinez, having scored 10 goals in nine UEFA Euro 2024 Qualifying games.

Hence, there has been speculation about whether the two strikers can play together. In an interview with A Bola, Martinez shared his thoughts on the same, saying (via Essentially Sports):

“I think we had a very good example against Slovakia when we played with two spearheads.

“Now, very importantly, we’re a team that gets into the final third very easily. The most difficult aspect of soccer is the final third. I think Cristiano’s movement in the final third is top quality. Gonçalo Ramos also has an innate quality of looking for space in the area. Both players can play as spearheads on their own or, as they’ve shown, they can play together.”

Martinez referenced Portugal’s clash against Slovakia in the Euro 2024 Qualifiers in October. Cristiano Ronaldo and Goncalo Ramos both started the game, helping their side to a 3-2 win. While the former scored a brace, the youngster scored as well.


Cristiano Ronaldo in race against time for friendly against Lionel Messi’s Inter Miami

Cristiano Ronaldo has suffered a calf injury and is currently in the recovery process. This also resulted in Al-Nassr postponing their pre-season tour to China as the superstar was unable to play.

The Saudi Arabian side will next host Lionel Messi-led Inter Miami in the Riyadh Season Cup on February 1. However, whether Ronaldo will be able to feature in the game is still unclear.

The Portuguese has returned to training in the gym and as per Goal, the injury was minor. As per the previously shared timeline, he should be available for the clash even if on the bench. However, both the forward and the club are unwilling to take risks ahead of the resumption of the season.

If the 38-year-old does play, it could be the final face-off between the eternal rivals Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. Inter Miami will also play against Al-Hilal on Monday (January 29) before facing Al-Nassr.

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“They can play together” – Portugal coach Roberto Martinez hypes up Cristiano Ronaldo partnership with 22-year-old teammate

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Aditya Singh

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