• Euro 2012

Bento denies Ronaldo rift talk

ESPN staff
June 13, 2012
Paulo Bento has refuted suggestions of a rift with Cristiano Ronaldo © Getty Images

Portugal coach Paulo Bento has denied talk of a row with his star man Cristiano Ronaldo.

Ronaldo cut a frustrated figure during Portugal's defeat to Germany, as he carved out a number of chances for team-mates only to see them squandered, and on the final whistle Ronaldo trudged straight down the tunnel. Bento woke up the following morning to criticism from Portugal legends Luis Figo and Manuel Rui Costa who accused the coach of stifling the attacking talents of his star man.

It has also been claimed that Ronaldo sat out Tuesday's training session, but Bento has denied that was the case even though he conceded the Real Madrid superstar was frustrated with the way the Germany game played out.

"Since we lost against Germany, people have been asking me how I am going to solve a problem with Helder Postiga," Bento said. "Now I come back to Lviv and I'm supposed to have a problem with Ronaldo.

"I can assure you that there were 23 players on the training pitch today and in all our time here Ronaldo has not missed one session.

"Not everyone reacts the same way to disappointment and stressful situations. And from a certain point of view I can even understand Cristiano's reaction.

"He played a very good game on Saturday and will play against Denmark."

Responding to criticism from Figo and Rui Costa, Bento said: "Everyone is talking about my strategy but my colleagues should know it's more difficult to do something than to say something.

"There is no reason for us to show any anxiety. We lost against one of the favourites for the title but didn't deserve to lose. The Germany defeat doesn't change our strategy. We know we have beaten Denmark before and we can do so again."

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