Things aren’t going well for Cristiano Ronaldo at Euro 2016. Not only has Portugal so far failed to claim a victory, instead they’ve just amassed the paltry sum of two points from their opening two matches; the Real Madrid forward has yet to score in the competition, too.
After Cristiano Ronaldo had a truly frustrating match against Austria on Saturday evening, which saw him miss numerous chances. Austria’s goalkeeper Robert Almer made several stunning saves to rebuff his attempts, and even hit the post with a penalty in the 78th minute. Many soccer pundits laid the blame for Portugal’s poor start to Euro 2016 at his door.
Soon after the match, a rather embarrassing stat started to make the rounds online, which showcased just how poor Cristiano Ronaldo has been in front of goal for Portugal in the last two matches. So far, Cristiano Ronaldo has had 20 shots during the tournament, which is more than nine teams have managed.
— Sky Sports News HQ (@SkySportsNewsHQ) June 19, 2016
While the fact that Cristiano Ronaldo managed 51 goals in just 48 games for Real Madrid in all competitions last season, including the winning penalty in Real’s Champions League final shoot-out victory against Atletico, should at least prove that he’s still just as talented as ever, despite now being 31, numerous obituaries for the player have been written instead.
After the match, Portugal manager Fernando Santos refused to discuss Cristiano Ronaldo, as he instead remarked, via the Daily Mail, “This is not the result we wanted; it’s not deserved, it’s not fair, but this is football. We tried everything but it’s no use crying over spilt milk. We have a final match and we must focus on that. Everything is up for grabs. If we win we qualify. We’re going through a tough time right now but we can’t wallow in our misery. We can’t focus on our missed chances.”
After this result, Portugal is now in third place in Group F of their Euro 2016 group, with the same amount of points as Iceland, who they drew with in their opening match, and one point ahead of Austria. Hungary currently leads the group, but Portugal knows that a victory over them in the final match will confirm their qualification to the next round. Austria will need to defeat Iceland to progress.
— UEFA EURO 2016 (@UEFAEURO) June 18, 2016
Pressure has been growing on Cristiano Ronaldo ever since his response to Portugal’s draw with Iceland earlier this week. After Iceland secured an unlikely draw with Portugal in their first ever match in Euro 2016, Ronaldo responded by remarking, via the Guardian, “Iceland didn’t try anything. They were just defend, defend, defend and playing on the counterattack. It was a lucky night for them. We should have three points but we are OK. 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 are not going to do anything in the competition.”
This was simply seen as sour grapes, especially since Iceland only has a population of 323,000; it means that they have the smallest population of any national team that has ever qualified for a national soccer tournament.
[Image via Getty/Mike Hewitt]