Lisbon, July 12 (IANS) Portugal winger Ricardo Quaresma has hailed team-mate and captain Cristiano Ronaldo as the only person in football he admires after their victory over hosts France in the final of the European Championship.
Quaresma replaced Ronaldo in the first half of the final on Sunday against France after the captain had to be stretchered off with a knee injury following a tackle from France’s Dmitri Payet.
The Real Madrid star re-emerged from the dressing room to encourage his team-mates from the sidelines. However, Eder’s goal in extra time secured a 1-0 win and the trophy.
“Even with the injury (Ronaldo) never stopped, he always supported the team and that’s why I say, not just as a friend, that he is the only person I admire in football,” Quaresma was quoted as saying by Portuguese newspaper O Jogo on Monday.
“I admire the strength he has. We have a great captain, it is an honour to play alongside him and have him in the national team and all Portuguese people should be proud to have Cristiano.”
The Real Madrid star scored three goals in the just-concluded Euro 2016 and nine overall in all European Championship he has played, equalling the record of French football great Michael Platini.
“His critics speak of him and do not know him as a person. He is a great person, a great captain and he deserves everything he has achieved in football. He always has confidence and is positive and that’s what he gave us,” the winger added.