Cristiano Ronaldo has suggested that empty stadiums are like circuses without jokers after netting a brace in Portugal’s 2-0 win over Sweden in the Uefa Nations League that took his international goal tally to 101.

“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.”

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Ronaldo who doesn’t shy away from gesturing to the opponent fans, as seen from his days at Manchester United when he asked Arsenal fans to shut up after scoring at Highbury, is also missing the stick he gets from them.

“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,” he added.

Ronaldo is hopeful that fans would return to the stadium soon. The Portuguese star will turn up for Italian giants Juventus for a third straight season and also under a third different manager. Andrea Pirlo replaced Maurizio Sarri in Turin after the Italian was sacked from his post.

On the international stage, Ronaldo is only eight goals behind Iran’s Ali Daei who is the all-time leading goalscorer in international football.