Jose Mourinho applauds ‘special’ Cristiano Ronaldo after his heroics against Spain

Portugal v Spain: Group B - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia
Portugal v Spain: Group B - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has praised his fellow countryman Cristiano Ronaldo after the striker scored a memorable hat trick to gain a valuable point in Portugal’s 3-3 World Cup opener against Spain.

Spain came from behind twice on Friday before taking the lead through Nacho’s excellent screamer but it still wasn’t enough for the Spaniards as Cristiano Ronaldo sealed his hat trick in the dying minutes with a stunning free-kick.

And Red Devils boss Jose Mourinho, who has previously worked with the five-time Ballon d’Or winner at Real Madrid, was full of praise for the striker’s heroic performance.

“He knew. He knew and that’s what I really admire in some players and he is a great example,” said Mourinho in his role as a pundit for Russia Today.

“There are players for some matches, there are players for every matches and there are players for special matches. And the players for special matches are the ones.

“His [free-kick] record lately is not the best, I think for every free-kick he takes in the national team, he is not scoring as much as he did for Manchester United and for the first years in Real Madrid.

“But this one is the critical one, this one is a crucial point, it can affect the self-esteem, the self-confidence, the way to appear in the next two matches, the rivalry, what it means for Portuguese people who is at home. And he has this little touch, this little feeling and the goal is fantastic.”

Portugal now face Morocco followed by Iran as Fernando Santos’ men seek to win Group B ahead of favorites Spain.

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