Portugal coach Fernando Santos hopes Cristiano Ronaldo will continue with the national team after their World Cup defeat by Uruguay.
Edinson Cavani scored twice in a 2-1 victory in the last 16, either side of a Pepe header, but despite having the lion’s share of possession, Portugal could not break down Uruguay’s well-drilled defence a second time.
Ronaldo showed flashes of his brilliance but was often restricted to long-range efforts, and Santos still hopes to see the 33-year-old add to his 154 caps and 85 international goals.
“Certainly, yes, Cristiano still has a lot to give to football. There is a tournament in September, the UEFA (Nations League) and we hope he will be with us to help the younger ones to grow,” he told reporters.
“We have a team with many young players and of course we all want him there with us.”
Santos said his side had studied their opponents but that it was impossible to legislate for Uruguay’s first goal, a superb cross from Luis Suarez for Cavani to turn home.
“We know that in Portugal, the squares are full, the people are together and rooting for us and we feel their presence here, so a word to the Portuguese people – we are very sad that we weren’t able to make it,” he told reporters.
“There was a cross to the left, then a cross to the right – there is no scheme against that. Their strikers were very strong; one was there, the other one came from behind. That was an incredible play, they have never scored like that before.”
The European champions equalised when Pepe headed home following a short corner, but Uruguay swept up the field and carved them open once more, with Cavani firing home his second and Portugal unable to respond.
“We know that they were tight in the midfield, so we had some players playing wide to try to unblock the Uruguay defence, In the first half we did it less well. In the second we were better, but we didn’t make it.”