Football News

‘The result would be the same’ – Danilo defends Cristiano Ronaldo following Portugal’s record 9-0 win over Luxembourg

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 14:30, 12 September 2023

Danilo Pereira believes Portugal would have still registered their biggest-ever international victory with Cristiano Ronaldo in the side.

Roberto Martinez’s side ran out 9-0 winners over Luxembourg at Estádio Algarve on Monday evening to strengthen their involvement at next summer’s European Championship.

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The 2016 winners moved onto 18 points in Group J, eight ahead of third-place Luxembourg (as first and second place guarantees a berth at Euro 2024), with them now having registered 24 goals while not conceding a single one.

This recent success was done without the five-time Ballon d’Or recipient and international football’s all-time leading scorer as Ronaldo was serving a suspension after picking up three yellow cards.

Gonçalo Inácio, Gonçalo Ramos and Diogo Jota all scored braces. Ricardo Horta, João Félix and Bruno Fernandes also got on the scoresheet. Fernandes also ended with three assists.

However, midfielder Danilo refuted any notion things would be different with Ronaldo taking part, especially considering the Al-Nassr forward has previously featured in big Portugal wins.

“If Cristiano Ronaldo was here, the result would also be like this. He would help with goals and assists. It wasn’t because of his absence that this game was won by eight or nine goals,” he told reporters.

Further history eluded Portugal as the record for the biggest international win by a European nation still belongs to Germany when they claimed a 13-0 success over San Marino in September 2006.

The world record is Australia 31-0 American Samoa which took place in April 2001. On that day Archie Thompson set a new milestone for most goals scored by a player in an international match with 13 strikes.