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Bento insists Portugal will not rely solely on Cristiano Ronaldo

Bento insists Portugal will not rely solely on Cristiano Ronaldo

The attacker is coming off the back of a wonderful season with Real Madrid, but the former Sporting boss knows that he cannot be expected to carry his country this summer

Portugal coach Paulo Bento has revealed that his side can ill afford to rely solely on Cristiano Ronaldo if they are to have any hope of qualifying from Euro 2012's 'group of death'.

"Cristiano has always played at a high level for us," he told AS. "In the qualifying round he helped us a lot but we still think the same: we will not rely on any player to resolve all problems.

The beaten finalists of eight years ago have been drawn alongside Germany, Netherlands and Denmark.

And Bento is aware that the Real Madrid forward will not be able to drag Portugal into the quarterfinals all on his own.

"We try to do things as a team and there will be some players who will help us solve certain problems, as in the case of Cristiano thanks to his talent and dynamism."

"But if anyone should take on the burden of pressure, it will be me. Moreover, Cristiano should not have the added pressure of thinking that winning a European Championship may be decisive in terms of the Ballon d'Or, because it will not be."

However, the Seleccao boss did acknowledge that victory in Poland and Ukraine this summer would boost Ronaldo's hopes of ending Lionel Messi's three-year reign as officially the best player in the world.

"Cristiano had a fantastic year [so far], with his goals and winning mentality," Bento continued. "With the [Spanish] league title and the Euros [to come], he does have a great chance to win the Ballon d'Or."

Turning his attention back to Portugal's group, Bento admitted that his troops, who were held to a 0-0 draw by Macedonia at the weekend, will be up against it this summer.

"Our first goal is to reach the quarterfinals and from that moment on we will start thinking game by game," he explained. "But not since 2000 have we been in as balanced a group as this, with such strong teams."

"The three teams we must play have been champions of Europe."

Bento succeeded Carlos Queiroz in charge of the Portuguese national team two years ago, less than 12 months after his resignation as Sporting Lisbon boss.

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