Newly appointed Spain boss Fernando Hierro has claimed he wouldn’t trade Portugal talisman Cristiano Ronaldo for any of his players following a riveting 3-3 draw in the Iberian derby at the World Cup.
Spain and Portugal begun their World Cup campaigns in Russia in style, with a breathless six goals thriller serving as an early contender for game of the tournament.
Cristiano Ronaldo notched all three goals for Portugal, while Diego Costa and Nacho were also on target for La Furia Roja to make the Group B meeting a match to be remembered.
However, despite Ronaldo’s heroics for Portugal, Spain boss Hierro has boldly claimed he wouldn’t swap any of his players for the 33-year-old Real Madrid front man, in a glowing appraisal of his squad, as reported by ESPN.
Speaking following the match, Hierro said: “I am very proud of my players. When you have a player in front of you like Cristiano, things like this can happen. I would not trade even one of them for Cristiano.
“When one has players like these, who collaborate and work hard, life is so much easier. One is grateful when one has folks who are so committed.”
Following a tough week for Spain, seeing Julen Lopetegui sacked in dramatic fashion and replaced by Hierro, the Spain manager was pleased with how his side took recent events in their stride.
“The team showed they could lift themselves up, got ourselves ahead twice, and against somebody capable of doing what Cristiano did we must be happy [with the result],” Hierro explained.
“With everything that happened the team did not stop believing, fought hard, showed personality. That is very important with all that has happened. We have taken an important step forward, moved on from the adversities.”
After what was a thrilling game, David De Gea was arguably mostly at fault for Spain dropping two points, conceding poorly for Portugal’s second as the Manchester United shot stopper allowed a weak shot to find its way into the net.
However, Hierro has affirmed that De Gea will not become a pariah, saying: “[De Gea] is one of our own. We leave nobody out hanging here.”