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Cristiano Ronaldo is not Portugal’s only threat, says South Korea coach

21 Apr 2022 | 08:40 | Football


FILE PHOTO: Football - World Cup - UEFA Qualifiers - First leg Final C - Portugal and North Macedonia - Estadio do Dragao, Porto, Portugal - March 29, 2022 Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal in the kick-off move before the game

FILE PHOTO: Football – World Cup – UEFA Qualifiers – First leg Final C – Portugal and North Macedonia – Estadio do Dragao, Porto, Portugal – March 29, 2022 Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal in the kick-off Pre-match REUTERS / Miguel Vidal

South Korea coach Paulo Bento said Portugal is more than a one-man team and stopping Cristiano Ronaldo will only be one of their tasks when they meet at the World Cup later this year.

Bento knows all the qualities of the 37-year-old Manchester United striker, who managed his native Portugal from 2010 to 2014. In addition to the former European champions, South Korea have also been drawn. when facing Ghana and Uruguay in Qatar.

“Our concern in this moment cannot be (about) one player,” said Bento. “It doesn’t matter what kind of player we talk about.

“Everybody knows that he is one of the best players in the world ever. But then we need to look at all of the Portuguese teams, not just one player.

“Portugal has some players who are too quality in many respects, playing in the most important leagues in Europe.”

FILE PHOTO: Football - World Cup - Asia Qualifiers - Group A - United Arab Emirates and South Korea - Al-Maktoum Stadium, Dubai, United Arab Emirates - May 29 3 2022 South Korea's coach Paulo Bento

FILE PHOTO: Football – World Cup – Asia Qualifiers – Group A – United Arab Emirates and South Korea – Al-Maktoum Stadium, Dubai, United Arab Emirates – May 29 3 2022 South Korea’s coach Paulo Bento REUTERS / Stringer

Ronaldo, the record goalscorer in international football, will make his fifth appearance at the World Cup while the South Korean team will make it to the final round for the 10th tournament in a row.

Coach Bento’s side comfortably qualified from Group A of the Asian qualifying round but finished second behind Iran after a surprise 1-0 loss at the hands of the United Arab Emirates in the final round of the qualifying round.

Bento said of the group’s campaign: “There were some tough moments that in my opinion allowed us to grow as a group.

“At the same time, (those moments) allowed us as a technical person to mature and develop our ideas in the best possible way.

“The most important thing for me is that in those moments we always believe in the way we manage the team and the way we play.”

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