PORTUGAL

Fernando Santos: "Cristiano and Joao Félix can't be compared"

Joao Félix y Cristiano Ronaldo en un entrenamiento con la selección de Portugal.

PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA

AFP

Portugal's coach defended the qualities of the Benfica star but added that he is a completely different player to Juventus superstar Cristiano Ronaldo.

Portugal coach Fernando Santos is trying to play down the euphoria surrounding emerging talent João Félix who has exploded onto the scene and even drawn comparisons with Cristiano Ronaldo. "They're both players blessed with great qualities but they're completely different. There are certain players - the chosen few, who get called for the senior national side when they are just 16, 17 or 18 years old but they are isolated cases - such as Futre, Chalana, Cristiano... Those kinds of players have a great deal of quality - if they didn't, they wouldn't get into the national team at that age", the coach replied when asked about João Félix in declarations picked up by O Jogo.

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"Son dos jugadores completamente distintos"

Fernando Santos, sobre Cristiano Ronaldo y Joao Félix.

The promising Benfica youngester has attracted interest from Europe's top sides - including Real Madrid; and now some commentators have started predicting that João Félix will eventually succeed Cristiano Ronaldo as the star of the Portugual team. His recent performances earned him a call-up although he has not been able to make his senior debut during this international break because of an injury.

Fernando Santos explained that João had been called up "because he's shown that he has enormous potential". When asked about the comparisions being made with Cristiano Ronaldo, he added: "All of the players who are with the national team have enormous talent. However, you can't compare things which are not comparable. They have very different characters - both have great qualities but they're very different".