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Cristiano Ronaldo wins the Nations League with Portugal

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November 20, 2019 7:24 pm

Cristiano Ronaldo wins the Nations League with Portugal

Portugal has won its second title in three years with the Nations League after the EM 2016. In the final against the Netherlands, however, Cristiano Ronaldo and Co. were close.

European champion Portugal has taken the next piece of the spoils in his “Dragon’s Cave”. Superstar Cristiano Ronaldo and his colleagues won the premiere final of the new Nations League on Sunday against the astonishingly powerless Netherlands 1-0 (0-0). At the Estadio do Dragao in Porto, they won a ten-million-euro prize as well as the new Sterling Silver Grand Cup, which they won several times around themselves. A ticket for the European Championship 2020 is not linked to the victory.

Goncalo Guedes with the goal of the day

It wasn’t a big name that decided the game: Goncalo Guedes of FC Valencia used one of Portugal’s many chances to score the only goal (60th) with a precise 16-metre bowl. The Netherlands missed the opportunity to win their second international title after triumphing at the 1988 European Championship in Germany.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Virgil van Dijk! In advance, everything had concentrated on this supposedly epic duel as if they were competing without any players. There was “CR7”, the beast in the shape of a footballer, record breaker and nightmare of all defenders. Da Virgil van Dijk, the human “clearance tank” (Jürgen Klopp) – the rock face from Breda, the best and most expensive defender in the world.

Pleasing game of the Dutch

“It’s not a battle between two players,” said Dutch coach Ronald Koeman, adding: “It’s Holland against Portugal.” And in fact, this time other figures were influential. Bruno Fernandes (12th) had scored the first dangerous shot at the Dutch goal. Frenkie de Jong the first attacks towards the Portuguese penalty area when Ronaldo and van Dijk met for the first time – with the defender as the winner, who later blocked a Ronaldo shot well to the corner (28th).

Holland played well, had more ball possession, but with his combinations, he hardly ever got into a position that could have been scored. For a long time there were chances only for Portugal, for example, for Jose Fonte (29.), again the strong Fernandes (31./38.) – and finally also Ronaldo (41.).

Depays header in the arms of Rui Patricio

The European champion pressed on in a game on a long manageable level, the guests wobbled – and they fell. Until 0:1, they had not fired a single shot at the opposing goal. Only after that were there more offensive inspiration and even scoring chances to be seen: Memphis Depay, however, headed the ball into the arms of goalkeeper Rui Patricio (66), and Marten de Roon shot past narrowly (79).

England had previously secured third place. Coach Gareth Southgate’s side defeated Switzerland 6-5 on penalties in Guimaraes after 120 goalless minutes. Goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, who had previously converted himself, parried Josip Drmic’s (Borussia Mönchengladbach) decisive shot.

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