Portugal weighs resting Ronaldo for New Zealand game

June 24, 2017
@Normal:Cristiano Ronaldo

ST PETERSBURG, (AP):

Portugal coach Fernando Santos could deny himself the pleasure of seeing Cristiano Ronaldo play against New Zealand today.

After promising to rotate his starting lineup for a third Confederations Cup game in seven days, Santos would not confirm if that means rest for his 32-year-old star.

"Everybody wants to watch Cristiano Ronaldo, even I want to watch Cristiano Ronaldo," the coach said Friday, smiling when asked how Russia's enthusiasm for the current world's best player compared to other countries.

"I don't know if I'm going to play with Cristiano or without Cristiano," Santos said through a translator. "Obviously, rotation will take place, that I can tell you."

Portugal has the luxury to choose because of Ronaldo's decisive header early in a 1-0 win over Russia on Wednesday his 74th goal in 141 national-team games.

The European champion has four points in Group A and needs only a draw against No. 95-ranked New Zealand to advance to the semi-finals.

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