Portugal coach Fernando Santos has dismissed the notion of his side needing to rely on Cristiano Ronaldo ahead of their World Cup clash with Morocco.
The Real Madrid star struck a hat-trick in his side's opening 3-3 draw with Spain last Friday to move onto 84 goals for his country, level with the record for a European international player set by Hungary great Ferenc Puskas.
Ronaldo's exploits seemed even more impressive when Barcelona rival Lionel Messi missed a penalty as his Argentina side slipped to a 1-1 draw with tournament debutant Iceland a day later.
Santos was not willing to enter the debate around which of the world's most renowned forwards are more important to their national teams, though.
When asked that question by a Spanish reporter at a news conference on Tuesday, he replied in English: "I understand you, I understand you."
He then continued in Portuguese: "We play Morocco [on Wednesday]. I hope Cristiano plays a great match. We're used to that, not only from the last match but his career as a whole. I hope he and our team are ready.
"Portugal were European champions with Ronaldo because the captain is very important, but I've never seen a player win a match on his own."
There were some claims Ronaldo was suggesting he should be seen as the greatest player of all time when he celebrated one of his goals against Spain by stroking his chin, although the so-called 'goat' gesture was dismissed by Santos as "normal in Portugal".
He also gave short shrift to a question about whether the 33-year-old is out to break Just Fontaine's record of 13 goals in a single World Cup campaign.
"Maybe, I don't know," he said. "This is a World Cup. These are national teams. The important thing for me is to respect the Moroccan team. We have to be focused and that's our goal. We have to win and that's what we care about."
Portugal could put themselves in a commanding position in Group B if they beat Morocco, who lost 1-0 to Iran in their opening match.
Santos does not fear complacency could become a problem, though, despite being reminded about Portugal's famous 3-1 defeat to the same opposition back in 1986.
"Most of my players weren't born in 1986 so it's hard to talk about something they didn't see," he said. "We have respect and humility which always helps us.
"Morocco are very good, they're one of the best African sides. They're very experienced, they have players mostly playing in Europe, in Italy, Holland, France, so it's a very well-organised team."
24 de febrero 2019
|Ivory Coast on brink of qualification, Central African Republic hopes dashed|
|Johnson leads by four at WGC-Mexico Championship|
|Pelicans to rest Davis against Lakers|
|Rockets star Harden to miss Warriors clash|
|Eubank dominates DeGale to claim IBO super-middleweight crown|
|Man United clash will not decide Premier League title – Klopp|
|Solskjaer: Man United must avoid a title drought like Liverpool´s|
|Toulouse extend lead at the top, Stade down La Rochelle|
23 de febrero 2019
|Cruyff instilled Guardiola´s inner belief and desire to win|
|Treviso slay Dragons to go second, Blues stun Edinburgh|
|Tuchel happy with Verratti-Paredes partnership|
|Hodgson never expected to become Premier League´s oldest manager|
|Tigers batter Broncos to go top, Salford storm back to win|
|WATCH: Cantlay goes close to hole-in-one on par four|
|Rafinha confused and disappointed over lack of Bayern Munich opportunities|
|Bayern confirm Coman hamstring tear|
|Puel remaining positive despite Leicester losing again at home|
|Sloane Stephens vents as delayed flight leaves race to reach Acapulco|
|Valverde dismisses Solari complaints over fixture scheduling|
|Van Uytvanck battles into Budapest final|
|Patriots´ Devin McCourty reacts to Robert Kraft´s solicitation charges: ´Let it play out´|
|West Brom 0 Sheffield United 1: Dowell sends Blades back to second|
|Gatland happy for ´special´ Wales to stay under the radar|
|Eddie Jones rues England´s ill-discipline|
|Leicester City 1 Crystal Palace 4: Eagles mark Hodgson milestone with convincing win|
|Mbappe should have scored four or five - Tuchel|
|Sharks down Blues, Stormers clinch it at the last|
|Tsitsipas sets up Kukushkin decider in Marseille|
|Valverde sings Messi´s praises after 50th hat-trick|
|Wolves penalty was cruel on Bournemouth - Howe|
|Ismaily 1 CS Constantine 1: Hamdi own goal denies Egyptians victory|
|Record-breaking Wales fight back to beat England|
|Heidel stepping down as Schalke sporting director|
|Benitez: A great day for Almiron|
|Chiefs pounce on Sarries setback, Quins make it four in a row|
|Paris Saint-Germain 3 Nimes 0: Mbappe reaches Ligue 1 milestone|
|Kovac waiting on Coman tests after winger lasts nine minutes against Hertha|
|Championship Review: Leeds, Norwich both win|
|Messi insists LaLiga is not over despite downing Sevilla with 50th career hat-trick|
|Brilliant Bencic outlasts Kvitova to complete week of Dubai upsets|
|Sevilla 2 Barcelona 4: Messi hat-trick saves LaLiga leaders|
|Bournemouth 1 Wolves 1: King goes from penalty hero to villain|
|Newcastle United 2 Huddersfield Town 0: Magpies four clear of drop as Almiron sparkles|
|Zazai and Afghanistan smash records galore in thumping victory over Ireland|
|Dyche: Burnley have restored key core values|
|Kohli warns India over ´bad habits´ in IPL|
|Bayern Munich 1 Hertha Berlin 0: Martinez sends champions level at top|
|France bounce back as Scotland suffer familiar Paris pain|
|It was obvious! - Lloris furious at Dean decision|
|Maybe the cables crossed in my brain - Pochettino explains Dean row|
|Captaining Ireland an incredible honour - O´Mahony|
|Zazai´s 162 leads Afghanistan to record T20I total|
|Benitez: Ashley and I need to be on the same page|
|Burnley 2 Tottenham 1: Barnes hits late winner after Kane´s goalscoring return|
|Simeone has no gripe with Ronaldo over Atletico Madrid insult|
|Icardi remains sidelined for Inter´s Fiorentina trip|
|Sangakkara leads Sri Lanka plaudits after historic triumph|
|Solari still committed to LaLiga title race|
|Allegri calls on Juventus to ´do something extraordinary´ after Atletico loss|
|DeRozan humbled by reception on bittersweet Raptors return|
|Du Plessis laments lacklustre Proteas display|
|Hard work pays off for Karunaratne´s Sri Lanka|
|De Laurentiis aims jibe at Juventus and Ronaldo|
|BREAKING NEWS: Kane returns for Spurs at Burnley|
|Champions Crusaders outclass Hurricanes|
|Sri Lanka make history with series win in South Africa|
|Mane: Putting pressure on ourselves won´t help Liverpool|
|Thunder´s George: That was a statement|
|Leclerc ready to battle for top Ferrari billing|
|Man United outing was a learning experience – Alexander-Arnold|