Portugal coach defends captain Ronaldo over Messi barbs

Updated: Jun 15, 2012, 14:15 PM IST

London: Portugal coach Paul Bento has said there is no problem with skipper Cristiano Ronaldo’s form with the national team following an incident during their last game against Denmark when fans took a dig at the Real Madrid star by chanting Argentina star Lionel Messi’s name.

Ronaldo has yet to score in the tournament and a succession of missed chances in the thrilling 3-2 win over Denmark ended with Danish fans chanting ``Messi ! Messi !’’

Ronaldo`s lack of goals should not come as a complete surprise as he has scored just five times in 15 games at major finals since appearing at the Euro 2004 in his homeland.

With the additional responsibility of captaincy on his shoulders, many have questioned whether the former Manchester United star can handle that as well. However, Portuguese coach Paulo Bento has dismissed such thoughts as rubbish.

“I don`t like talking about individuals after a match, I always analyse the team performance as a whole. We have put together two good performances against two good sides and we are on the right road and we will continue to score goals whether it is Cristiano or someone else,” Bento was quoted as saying.

“Is he wilting under the pressure? That is not my impression. He is under the same pressure as the other players, who want to contribute to victory. From our point of view he has played two good matches and I am certain that there is not a player in our team who is unhappy with him,” he added.

ANI