PORTUGAL | FERNANDO SANTOS

"Cristiano is saving his goals for Euro 2016"

The Portuguese coach excused his penalty against Bulgaria. "Cristiano scores 40 or 50 goals a season, he's a reference point for us".
Hungary-Portugal live

"Cristiano is saving his goals for Euro 2016"
ANTONIO COTRIM EFE

Cristiano has been failing to score from the spot recently but Portuguese fans are not bothered by this lapsus. The Madeira born striker failed to convert the penalty the Portuguese were awarded during Friday's friendly game against Bulgaria in a game they ultimately lost 0-1. Fernando Santos, national team coach jumped to the players defence stating to the media that: “Cristiano didn't score as he is saving his goals for the Euro 2016 tournament in France…”. He later added that Cristiano is a key player for the squad and a guarantee of 40 or 50 goals per season. 

The Portuguese media are exercising patience with Cristiano and instead have focused on the poor number of chances being created by "la Seleçao". “A lost festival of goals”, was the headline after the Bulgaria by Lisbon based sports daily A Bola. They also alluded to the fact that the Portugal national team has only been on target on 16 occasions since Fernando Santos took over as coach on September 23, 2014.

Cristiano will have another chance to get on the score sheet as Portugal welcome Belgium to Leiria on Tuesday after the venue was switched following the terrorist attacks in Belgium. This will be Cristiano's last game with his national squad during the season as the next scheduled match for Portugal takes place on May 29th against Norway before they travel to Wembley to face England on June 2 at 1945 (GMT).