Portuguese team reacts: “Above all else, an amazing Cristiano performance”

AP Photo/Frank Augstein

Cristiano Ronaldo’s amazing performance glossed over a disappointing job from Portugal’s players, at least according to the national team’s manager.

Fernando Santos said, “Spain’s players didn’t let our quality players show what they could do.”

[ RECAP, VIDEO: Portugal 3-3 Spain ]

Viewers would beg to differ, at least in the case of Ronaldo (Cheers to Portuguese soccer expert scribe Tom Kundert for the quick post-game quotes).

The Real Madrid megastar scored his first World Cup hat trick in the 3-3 draw with Spain. Ronaldo won and converted a penalty, took advantage of a rare David De Gea howler, and scored with a wonderful 88th minute free kick.

“It’s worth a lot,” Ronaldo said after the game. “It’s a great work of many years. I worked for this, but obviously it’s the team and we’re winning together. We fought to the end and the draw is fair. Spain had control of the ball but it was a great match and it was good for us.”

Portugal does need to be much better in defense by the next time it faces anyone, let alone someone of Spain’s quality.

When Diego Costa is allowed to bull his way around the field, you can’t sit down after contact like Pepe. At some point, Portugal will pay for waiting on Ronaldo.