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Ronaldo's incredible mind makes him a global great - Santos

01:00 GMT+3 16/06/2018
Cristiano Ronaldo
Portugal coach Fernando Santos is running out of superlatives for star man Cristiano Ronaldo after his hat-trick against Spain.

Cristiano Ronaldo's "incredible" mind and ability to deliver under pressure places him among the best players in the world, says Portugal coach Fernando Santos.

Ronaldo hit a superb hat-trick as the Euro 2016 champions claimed a 3-3 World Cup draw against Spain in a thrilling Group B clash in Sochi on Friday.

The Portugal captain had already scored twice when he stepped up to whip home a late free-kick to level the scores at Fisht Stadium.

Ronaldo's treble was his 51st hat-trick for club and country, with Santos running out of superlatives to describe the Real Madrid superstar.

"More important than his physical form is his mental form," Santos told a news conference.

"He has incredible mental endurance. He has technical quality, physical shape and an incredible mind. It's what makes him one of the best in the world.

"Once again he has advanced his quality. Even when it was 3-2, he was the one who had absolute trust in himself and the team.

"That's innate, but also his development, he always plays in finals so it gives him a different perspective."

Portugal scored with all three of their shots on target and Santos accepted his team struggled to find rhythm against Spain's pass masters.

"We look at what we did well and what we didn't do so well," Santos said. "It was an emotional match, full of quality for both teams. The result was fair, Portugal had a lead twice, but Spain have a lot of quality.

"I think Spain started well, had good movement and possession. They created a few possibilities of goals. Portugal, after the first 15 minutes, started to lose space and that shook us up.

"Spain are an interesting team, a favourite [to win the World Cup], and we have fought to the end, and - we didn't want a draw - but all in all it was a fair result.

"The performance was better. The result left something to be desired. There's a lot to improve, especially without the ball. If we don't have the ball it's hard, because we like to play. We have to improve the aspects of the games, but we have to win as well."