Ronaldo like a 12th player during Euro 2016 final – Santos

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​Portugal coach Fernando Santos hailed Cristiano Ronaldo and said his captain was a 12th player during their Euro 2016 final win.

Cristiano Ronaldo was Portugal’s 12th player during their win over France at Euro 2016, coach Fernando Santos said.

Ronaldo came off after just 25 minutes of the decider in July last year due to a knee injury, but his side managed to edge France 1-0 after extra time.

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The Real Madrid star, along with his coach, was vocal from the sidelines as Eder proved the match-winner.

Santos praised Ronaldo for his role in helping Portugal secure a first major trophy.

“Cristiano played part of the final. Second, his presence on the field, after he went off injured, it was like having a 12th player,” he told Corriere della Sera.

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Ronaldo was criticised for his actions during the final, with some suggesting he was coaching ahead of Santos.

However, Santos dismissed the criticism, saying Ronaldo deserved to be lauded for trying to inspire his team.

“Joining with your heart to the fate of the team is always a strength, never a fault,” he said.

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Santos added: “The France strategy was definitely prepared on him, but Portugal were so balanced we didn’t lose our effectiveness.”

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