Crisis can go so quickly. A few days ago, the Portuguese were praised for a sovereign 4-0 victory in the Czech Republic. After the late 0-1 draw against Spain, not only the hapless Cristiano Ronaldo is in question, but also the record of national coach Fernando Santos.
"There are things to improve so that we can be in top form at the World Cup," said Santos after missing the Nations League final tournament. For a long time, the Seleção dominated the game in Braga and also had the better chances on their side: Ronaldo missed three of the most promising ones (47th minute/72nd/90th) - twice the 37-year-old was unable to overcome Spain's goalkeeper Unai Simón, once he hesitated too long in front of the gate. After the game, the frustrated striker quickly disappeared into the catacombs. In the coming weeks, Santos will also ask himself whether he will start with Ronaldo at the World Cup. Or whether he trusts up-and-coming talents like Milan's Rafael Leão.
Spain coach Luis Enrique will also be concerned despite Álvaro Morata's late winner (88'). In the first round, the ball movement of the Spaniards seemed aimless and unimaginative. It only got better with the inclusion of the exceptional talents Gavi, Yeremy, Pedri and Nico Williams. "It's wonderful to train these players. I could take not just 26 but 40 players to the World Cup," said Enrique.