Santos: We believe with or without Ronaldo

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Ronaldo scored the winning penalty in the Champions League final.

He may have hit the winning penalty in the Champions League final, but Portugal coach Fernando Santos has denied his team’s dependency on Cristiano Ronaldo.

While the Real Madrid star is undeniably his country’s best player, Santos believes that Spanish critics are wrong to think that their neighbours will rely solely on a player who is not fully fit.

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Rashford scores on England debut to boost Euro 2016 hopes

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Celebrations: Marcus Rashford.

Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford scored less than three minutes into his England debut as the Three Lions beat Australia 2-1 on Friday night.

Striker Rashford, who only made his senior club debut for United in February, put the hosts ahead after just 138 seconds at the Stadium of Light.

It was just his fourth touch in international football and, with Daniel Sturridge an injury doubt, put the 18-year-old in pole position to go to Euro 2016 this summer.

Boss Roy Hodgson has to name his final 23-man squad before Tuesday’s deadline with England due to face Russia, Wales and Slovakia in France.

Wayne Rooney scored his 52nd England strike after coming off the bench in the second half but an own goal from Tottenham’s Eric Dier made it a nervy last 15 minutes for the hosts.

Kyle Lafferty, Conor Washington and Will Grigg netted for Northern Ireland as they continued their build-up to Euro 2016 with a 3-0 win over Belarus in Belfast.

Norwich striker Lafferty scored after six minutes on his 50th international appearance before QPR hitman Washington doubled their lead just before half-time and Wigan’s Grigg wrapped it up late on.

Shane Long’s goal was not enough to beat Holland as the Republic of Ireland drew 1-1 in Dublin.

The Southampton striker opened the scoring only for Luuk de Jong’s late header to seal a draw. They now face Belarus on Tuesday with boss Martin O’Neill not expected to name his final squad for France until after the game.

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Delph to miss Euro 2016, Rashford debut

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Set for debut: Marcus Rashford.

England boss Roy Hodgson has confirmed Fabian Delph is unlikely to feature at the European Championship after suffering a groin injury.

Hodgson named a 26-man squad last week and will have to whittle that down to 23 ahead of the May 31 deadline.

Manchester City midfielder Delph, who has nine caps to his name, is not set for a long lay-off but did not travel with the squad to Sunderland as the Three Lions prepare for Friday’s friendly with Australia at the Stadium of Light.

And Hodgson, who also confirmed Manchester United teenager Marcus Rashford is likely to start against the Socceroos, claims the 26-year-old is unlikely to play any part in France.

“It means he (Delph) probably won’t be with us in the final 23, unless of course we have injuries,” Hodgson said at a press conference broadcast on Sky Sports.

“I have put him on the standby list, which he understands and accepts. I don’t think it is going to be a long-term injury for him, so if I need him and want him to come along with us it is easy for me to call him and ask him to do so.

“I have said to him, with the situation we have with the other 25 players, it is unlikely.”

With Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge also struggling with a calf strain, Hodgson revealed that 18-year-old Rashford is set to make his England debut.

It is only three months since the Manchester United striker made his senior club bow but he will probably lead the line against Australia, with Jamie Vardy and Harry Kane rested.

Rashford has netted eight times in 18 appearances in all competitions for United and Hodgson has no doubts he can cope with the pressure.

Hodgson said: “If Sturridge isn’t fit tomorrow then I think you’ll all work out he (Rashford) is going to start the game. I’m happy with that, I’m more than content he can handle the situation.

“It doesn’t take a lot of detective work to work that out, with me wanting to rest Vardy and Kane. There was no doubt that my original intention was to choose between Sturridge, Rashford and possibly one other.

“With those two out, it’s pretty obvious Rashford is going to play a serious part in the game.”

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