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Cristiano Ronaldo hails ‘beautiful’ Portugal win over Morocco

7:03 pm, 20th June 2018

After his hat-trick against Spain, Ronaldo was yet again in headline-grabbing mood and headed Portugal into a fourth-minute lead, which was enough victory.

His 85th goal for his country means he has now scored more international goals than any other European player in history.

“I’m very happy,” he said. “The most important (thing) was to win the game. To get the three points. Because if we lost we could be out. So, we knew that Morocco would be trying very hard.

“It was a surprise because at the start they were really going through a lot of moves and they were very strong. And we managed to strike a goal, I managed to strike a goal, to get those three points, so I’m very happy. And it was beautiful to me.”

The result puts Portugal in a strong position to qualify for the last 16 with four points from their first two games.

Goalkeeper Rui Patricio was a busy man but Morocco failed to convert their chances. Head coach Fernando Santos has called for his team to improve in order to become challengers for the trophy.

“You know it’s a World Cup and the team is a strong team, Morocco is also a strong team,” he said.

“We have to grow. But we did well defensively, I think. We played well, but I think we need more than that. We need to do better than that. We need to continue pushing forward and we have to change and get more ball passion for example, of course.”