Jose Mourinho praises ‘phenomenon’ Cristiano Ronaldo after compatriot scores four for Portugal

Mourinho managed Ronaldo while at Real Madrid and is not surprised by his continued scoring exploits

Harry Latham-Coyle@hlathamcoyle
Thursday 12 September 2019 11:36
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Jose Mourinho has hailed Cristiano Ronaldo after his compatriot scored four goals against Lithuania for Portugal in Euro 2020 qualifying.

Ronaldo is now the record goal-scorer in European Championship qualifying, passing Robbie Keane, and is rapidly closing in on Ali Daei‘s all-time male international record of 109 goals.

The Juventus forward has now scored 93 times in 160 appearances for his country, and Mourinho is not at all shocked by Ronaldo’s continued success.

“What Cristiano does does not surprise me,” Mourinho told Portuguese TV channel 11.

“At 34, he is a top player, who plays in a top team and has top ambitions.

“It does not surprise me because he is a case study in genetic terms, and mentality as well.”

Mourinho managed Ronaldo at Real Madrid between 2010 and 2013.

Though the pair clashed towards the end of Mourinho’s tenure, with the former Chelsea and Manchester United manager angry at Ronaldo’s failure to track back, Mourinho later described coaching Ronaldo as a career highlight.

And the Portuguese believes he culd be scoring for a while longer yet.

“He is a phenomenon, someone who only thinks about winning and doing it more and more and better. That is why I am not surprised at all what he does.

“When he is 50 years old he will be at home and FIFA will invite him to a game of legends. He will play the game and score a goal. I am sure it will be like that.”

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