“I think Ronaldo will be the starter. There is no value on the bench”

The Swiss coach’s words before Alvalade’s game against Portugal.

The Swiss football coach believes Cristiano Ronaldo is “of no value” on the Portugal bench on Saturday, and therefore believes the Portuguese forward will start in the Nations League’s Group A2 meeting.

The Manchester United player, who was used as a substitute in Spain (1-1), has not started an official match on the national team’s bench since 7 October 2017, when he came on and scored at half-time . Scored in the win over Andorra (2-0) to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

“I think yes, he will play first. They play at home and I think he will start, yes. It is a pleasure to play against these players. Ronaldo has no value on the bench,” Murat defended Yakin , at a press conference before Sunday’s game.

The Swiss arrived in Lisbon somewhat unimpressed after a surprise 2-1 loss to the Czech Republic in Prague in the opening round. However, the original intention was to show a better image and really put “meat in the oven”. “We’ve had better moments, in the fall, we had a friendly. We have a lot of respect for the National League and we want to put all the meat on the grill. It’s a new opportunity for us to play without Worry because we have a good team, we play well and are cohesive. We have to correct the mistakes we made against the Czech Republic. We will see how the game develops,” he said.

Murat Yakin lamented that “the Swiss in Prague had no luck, many of the chances created in the game did not materialize in the goals”.

Meanwhile, midfielder Djibril Sow, 25, spoke to reporters about his “disappointment” with Prague’s surprise defeat, with the Swiss failing to take advantage of the opportunities they had. “Obviously we’re disappointed, we’re annoyed because we couldn’t take advantage of the great opportunity we had. It was a strange game, the individual and the team were not the best,” he lamented.

On the other hand, team-mates of Portugal international Gonzalo Pacincia, who is in Germany’s Eintracht Frankfurt, believe that “playing against one of the best players in the world, Cristiano Ronaldo, is always a special moment”.

Portugal and Spain have one point each, with the Czech Republic leading Group A2 with three points, the team’s next opponent after a 2-1 win over Switzerland.

The match is scheduled to start at 19:45 on Sunday at the Estádio José Alvalade and will be led by Israeli Orel Grinfeld.

After meeting the Swiss, Portugal will return to the same stage on Thursday for a force measurement with the Czech Republic before heading to Geneva for their second encounter with the Swiss on June 12.

The Nations League finals will take place from June 14 to 18, 2023, with the winners of the four divisions of the First Division advancing to the Second Division.


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