Santos rejects criticism of Ronaldo

Portugal boss Fernando Santos has rejected claims by Fabio Capello that Real Madrid's recent form is down to Cristiano Ronaldo's lack of fitness.

Santos was speaking ahead of his side's home clash with Andorra in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers and once again heaped praise on his country's star and clarified that he was ready to play.

"I respect Capello a lot, but honestly it would mean more if those comments came from Zidane," the 61-year-old said.

"When you have the best player in the world, it becomes difficult, Cristiano is Cristiano – he always want to be available for Portugal.

"He carries great value, especially with the younger players and that's very important in a team where many players are young.

"He has won many titles, but he always wants to win more and more – a lot of our team have won a title, but do not have many career titles.

"It's so important to have a winner in the team, as it guides the others – his presence gives everybody else strength and he guides them."

Tags Cristiano Ronaldo Fernando Santos Portugal