Ronaldo was at his juvenile best – or rather, worst – in the wake of Portugal’s 1-1 draw with Iceland, writes GARY LEMKE.
It’s fair to say that when Cristiano Ronaldo speaks, people listen. He has over 200-million followers on social media, by a long margin the most of any sports person on the planet.
He is also right up there with the best footballers of this era, or any other for that matter. However, perhaps he should continue to let his feet do the talking, because when he opens his mouth he tends to put those golden feet into it.
Ronaldo was at his juvenile best – or rather, worst – in the wake of Portugal’s 1-1 draw with Iceland in their Euro Group match.
‘I thought they’d won the Euros the way they celebrated at the end, it was unbelievable. When they don’t try to play and just defend, defend, defend, this, in my opinion, shows a small mentality, and they ate not going to do anything in the competition.’
The stats point this out and if you want to see why in football the only stat that counts is the final score, then check out our match centre here.
But, back to Ronaldo. His average weekly salary is more than the combined annual salary of the entire Icelandic team combined. The side he captains, Portugal, headed to France as one of the favourites to lift the Euro 2016 title.
What were Iceland supposed to do, roll over and let normal service operate?
Were they supposed to be like the North Korea that turned up at the Cape Town stadium at the 2010 World Cup and let Portugal put seven goals past them?
No, Iceland played as if this was the Euro final itself and were completely justified in celebrating wildly at the end of a match that Ronaldo had expected to bag a hatful and get his Euro Golden Boot aspirations off to a flying start. But, he was disappointing on the night, fluffing two routine chances that someone of his brilliance would ordinarily convert.
This was about Iceland’s point won, not the two that Portugal lost.
Iceland have a population of 330 000 people and on the night, 8% of that entire population was in the stadium living the dream. This was their evening and Ronaldo’s antics left a sour taste in the mouth.
Brilliant player, sore ‘loser’.
He shook the hand of one Icelandic player at the end as he stormed off the pitch. So much for being the role mode and great sportsman he routinely portrays himself to be to his 200-million social media followers.
Iceland are appearing in their first major championships and they are appearing ahead of the mighty Netherlands.
Yes, the Dutch, World Cup runners-up in 2010, are not in France. Why not? Because Iceland beat them in the qualifying stages.
Let the underdogs have their day.
Ronaldo is right when he reckons Iceland won’t win these Euros but imagine how 330 000 Icelandic people feel today? They have a national population dwarfed by most South African cities. Can you imagine a team from Durban, Cape Town or Pretoria playing against Portugal? Let alone one from Johannesburg.
It was a great night for football and shows that it genuinely is the only truly global sport.