STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) — Cristiano Ronaldo compared empty soccer stadiums to a circus without clowns.
The Portugal great scored his 100th and 101st goals for his country in a 2-0 win over Sweden on Tuesday in the Nations League.
“It’s like going to a circus without clowns, going to a garden without flowers,” Ronaldo said. “We don’t like that as players, but I’m already used to it. I do my pre-match meditation already knowing that the stadium will be empty.”
Ronaldo said he even missed opposing fans.
“It’s sad,” the Juventus forward said. “I like when I’m jeered in away matches, it motivates me. But health has to come first and we need to respect that. But it’s sad.”
Ronaldo said he hoped that “within a few months” fans could be back because they are the “joy” of the game.
With his goals against Sweden, Ronaldo became only the second male player to reach the century mark in international soccer. He trails only former Iran striker Ali Daei, who scored 109 goals for his national team.
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