Portugal had a rather forgetful night on Monday after being handed a 3-0 loss by Netherlands, as they prepare for their bid to win the 2018 World Cup campaign in Russia.
Goals from Memphis Depay, Ryan Babel and Virgil van Dijk before half-time meant Fernando Santos’ side had an uphill task ahead of them in the second-half.
What looked an almost impossible task then got even more so after Joao Cancelo was sent off in the 61st minute.
Soon after, Cristiano Ronaldo was substituted after enduring a frustrating night on the pitch, but only after – not one, not two, but three pitch invaders hurried onto the pitch to meet the Real Madrid superstar.
One of the pitch invaders even gave Ronaldo a kiss on his cheeks.
And while the disappointment of the scoreline was evident on Ronaldo’s face, the five-time Ballon d’or winner handled the situation well.
Watch how the incident happened, below.
The 25-year-old has risen to become one of the world’s most skilled midfielders, ever since his time at Liverpool under Jurgen Klopp where attacking football was the norm, to Barcelona where he recently moved for a £142 million deal.
Alves is therefore of the opinion that Coutinho deserves to be rated in the same frame as his PSG team-mate, Neymar, who has a fractured foot and is currently recovering from the injury that will take up to three months to mend.
Speaking ahead of Brazil’s game against Germany, he said: “I think that Coutinho is a player who is on the same level as Ney, he has a massive influence on our game and in his teams.
“When he was in Liverpool and now in Barca, he has improved a lot and learned to read the game better, to make the right decisions.”
“That is great to see, to play with such a good footballer who has that ability. There are others who are similar. We are lucky to play with great players and have them on our side is fantastic. We have to get the best out of them and build a solid team,” Alves added.
Wales had to settle for the runners-up spot in Nanning after Edinson Cavani’s second-half strike gave Uruguay a 1-0 victory on Monday.
The two China Cup games were new manager Ryan Giggs’ first in charge, and Wales only have a May friendly against Mexico in Pasadena before the serious business of the inaugural League of Nations starts.
Wales are in a group with Denmark and the Republic of Ireland in the autumn, those matches preceding the European Championship qualifiers which start next March.
“Ultimately we’re disappointed, we thought they were there for the taking,” Bale told Welsh football programme Sgorio after the game.
“But when the major games come around in the qualifiers we’ll be ready.
“It’s been important having the new manager in and everybody settling down, getting to know his ways.
“Obviously new players are coming in and there’s a lot of positives to take out of it.
“I think it’ll stand us in good stead for the future and I’m sure we’ll win many more games.”
Giggs had started his reign with a 6-0 thumping of tournament hosts China, with Bale claiming a hat-trick to become Wales’ record goalscorer.
But Uruguay were always going to present a far more formidable test with Cavani and Luis Suarez linking so well at the focal point of their attack.
“They’ve got midfielders who are very good players who can handle the ball,” Giggs said.
“So what we tried to do was not let them play at their own rhythm, try and put pressure on the ball and stop at it source, not get it to Cavani and Suarez because of the quality they possess.
“Sometimes you’re not going to do it, and it’s about being solid and defending. I thought we did it well.
“Of course, against teams like that you’re going to ride your luck but they showed us the utmost respect.”
Full Time / Sgôr Terfynol 🏴 0-1🇺🇾
Cavani’s goal in his 100th appearance the difference.
— Wales 🏴 (@Cymru) March 26, 2018
Giggs took the opportunity to blood several youngsters in the second half, and Connor Roberts and Billy Bodin both made debuts.
“I’m really pleased with the depth of the squad,” Giggs said.
“You look at Uruguay and they have a lot of quality and depth, perhaps we haven’t got that as much as other teams.
“But I’m really happy with a lot of players from this tour, not only in the games but what they’ve shown in training.”