Marseille, July 1: Portugal head coach Ferndo Santos has heaped praise on promising young midfielder Reto Sanches after the 18-year-old scored the team’s equaliser and later netted a successful pelty to steer his side to the European football championship semi-fils, beating Poland here.
Skipper Cristiano Roldo scored Portugal’s first pelty of the shoot-out, which they won 5-3, after the sides were tied at 1-1 after 120 minutes of open play on Thursday.
In May 2016, Sanches signed a five-year contract with German giants Bayern Munich for 35 million euros (around $38.8 million) from Benfica. And in Euro quarter-fil clash against Poland, the midfielder showed why the reigning Bundesliga champions paid him heavy.
“Reto played a great game, he still has a lot to offer, he’s still growing. The Reto Sanches you saw today is not the finished article, he will be better in the future,” Santos was quoted as saying by goal.com after the win.
“I said the same thing about Ricardo Carvalho when he was 18. Reto is still growing, he’ll have to take all his qualities, put it all on the pitch and it’s my job to help him. He’s an amazing player, when he gets older he’ll come into his own.”
Despite not scoring, the much-admired captain Roldo was applauded by the coach for his exemplary performance.
“I don’t talk about Individuals but Pepe and Cristiano played an amazing game. I think people undervalue them. People focus on CR — he has to score goals, goals, goals, but he has been playing amazing, he’s an amazing captain,” he said. “Pepe was immense. The first few minutes didn’t go our way; it was an experience for our players as they have reached this stage for the first time. Some of their heads are up in the clouds as they are dreaming about what’s happened,” Santos concluded. IANS