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Thursday, 14 June 2012 14:52

Opinion: Time for captain to show what he is made of after night to forget

Ronaldo riled after poor performance against Denmark

ronaldo_v_denmark.jpgPortugal may have secured a dramatic victory against Denmark yesterday to kick-start their Euro 2012 campaign, but it was the stuttering performance of their captain Cristiano Ronaldo that dominated most of the discussion after the game.

The Real Madrid star had a night to forget in Lviv, spurning two glorious chances to wrap the game up during the second half and avoid the threat of elimination that was only averted by Silvestre Varela’s late winner.

The first came just five minutes after the break, when Ronaldo raced onto a through ball after a clever step-over by Hélder Postiga. With the Danish defence desperately trying to get back, he shot from the edge of the box but his effort rolled tamely into the arms of Stephan Andersen.

ronaldo_miss.jpgIf that looked bad it was nothing compared to the second chance that he wasted with just over ten minutes left on the clock. Once again he found himself with only the keeper to beat after a first-time pass from Nani, but this time he couldn’t even get his effort on target, opening up his body before skewing his shot horribly wide. It really was an unbelievable miss, summed up by the momentary silence that engulfed the stadium as the ball thudded against the advertising hoardings behind the goal.

After the game Ronaldo had no trouble in admitting that it was not one of his better days:

“After so many chances I feel that I could have done better. But the important thing was the victory. If I don’t score but the team still win, I will take that.”

Such selfless words are all very well and good but it is on the pitch rather than in the press conference that the Selecção captain really needs to prove his commitment to the cause. It was not just his profligacy in failing to extend the lead that could have hurt Portugal, but also his reluctance to help protect the slender one that they still had.

For much of the game Ronaldo refused to track back and help Fábio Coentrão. Was he instructed to do so or was he staying upfield in search of personal glory? As a result Coentrão was left outnumbered, having to try and contain both Dennis Rommedahl and Lars Jacobsen down his flank. Two minutes after his second miss, Ronaldo once again failed to follow the run of the Danish right-back as Jacobsen planted a cross onto Nicklas Bendtner’s head to leave Portugal’s hopes of progression in the balance.

Bento says there is no rift within squad

paulo-bento-and-cristiano-ronaldo-20110607.jpgRonaldo seemed preoccupied throughout the game, with his body language during the national anthem and celebration of Portugal’s first goal hinting at something troubling him. There have been rumours that an argument with Paulo Bento was to blame for this, but the Portugal coach was quick to dispel such theories after the game:

“Is he wilting under the pressure? That is not my impression. He is under the same pressure as the other players. From our point of view he has played two good matches and I am certain that there is not a player in our team who is unhappy with him.”

Yet given some of his antics during the game, this seems unlikely. On numerous occasions yesterday angry gestures, hands on hips and puffed-out cheeks were aimed towards teammates who failed to do exactly what he wanted. Hélder Postiga was the main target of his frustrations after the striker failed to latch on to some of this passes, but having emphatically finished the one clear chance that came his way and seen his captain later fluff an opportunity that he created, the Zaragoza forward could be forgiven for feeling more than a little unimpressed.

Many of Portugal’s players have hailed the togetherness within the camp, but there can be no denying that their captain moaning incessantly will do little to foster team spirit.

Pepe, Portugal’s first goal scorer and yesterday’s man of the match was also quick to jump to the defence of his club colleague after the game, insisting:

“Cristiano is the best player in the world, but even the best sometimes fail. He helped the team and showed his professionalism.”

However, the truth is that Ronaldo was ineffective in attack and virtually invisible in defence, while some of the petulance that he showed was far from professional. Deep into stoppage time Ronaldo allowed his frustrations to get the better of him, committing a needless foul on William Kvist on the edge of the Danish box to earn a yellow card and ensure that he is treading a fine line for the final group game and any potential quarter-final.

Messi comparisons come back to haunt him

ronaldo_vs_messi.jpgSome of this anger may have come from the Danish fans mocking his second miss by singing the name of Lionel Messi, his rival for the title as the world’s best player. Yesterday’s chants clearly riled him, as he reacted angrily to questions about the sarcastic songs after the game:

“Do you know what Messi was doing this time last year? He was going out of the Copa America in his home country. That’s worse, is it not? And people say that he is the best player in the world. This sort of thing is normal for great players.”

It was an ill-timed outburst considering that it comes less than a week after Messi’s sensational hat-trick for Argentina in a 4-3 victory over Brazil. Last year the Albiceleste were actually eliminated in the quarter-finals by eventual winners Uruguay, and with Portugal still needing a result against the Dutch to guarantee qualification, Ronaldo might be better advised to bite his tongue next time the inevitable questions come his way.

Now twenty-seven, this European Championship could still be Ronaldo’s time to shine, free from the constant comparisons with his South American foe. Yet during the game against Denmark the world’s most expensive footballer, who scored at a rate of more than a goal per game for Real Madrid this year, inexplicably looked to be lacking in confidence.

With Portugal needing a professional performance against the Netherlands to ensure progression beyond the group stage, it is absolutely vital that their captain leads them with the maturity and selflessness that ought to be come with the armband. Only then will he fulfil his potential and silence his detractors.

by Tom Clee

Watch highlights of Denmark vs. Portugal here, including Ronaldo's troubles in front of goal:

Comments (61)
hope the naysayers STFU after his performance against the Dutch.
61 Monday, 18 June 2012 07:24
Great response from Ronaldo. I hope those who said he should be benched learned a thing or two today.
New Captain
60 Sunday, 17 June 2012 17:30
After watching the Denmark game, we clearly need a new Captain. Ronaldo missed a couple of EASY goals and it could have made a big difference! We were very lucky to get that late goal by Varela.

Ronaldo scores for Real Madrid, not for his country. Seriously, he would have made those goals that he missed during Denmark if he was playing for Real Madrid.

If he considers himself a Captain, prove it by scoring goals and helping the team win.
59 Sunday, 17 June 2012 16:19
Some have you have mentioned that it looks like he isn't happy when his team mates score and that he only thinks about himself. Lets put that into perspective - it's possible, but keep in mind that he is the only player that gets nailed when he doesn't score and we win! It doesn't make any sence - team wins, but if Ronaldo doesn't score he should be removed from the team / can't be compared to Messi / is selfish etc. Come on guys - lets move on!
58 Sunday, 17 June 2012 12:41
I though this article was spot on. I don't think there is any argument about the fact that Ronaldo is technically a great player. He is one of the best to ever put on a Portugal jersey.

This is where the feel good story ends because to put it simply, Ronaldos attitude stinks. His constant sulking, his refusal to track back and his selfishness are all a liability to Portugal. I recall 3 or 4 situations in the Denmark game where a Danish player dribbled the ball past Ronaldo who, from about 4 or 5 feet away, couldn't be bothered even sticking a foot out and putting some pressure on the ball carrier. That has to be hard to put up with for all the rest of the team who are working their guts out.

It was a massively bad decision to hand him the captains armband. The captaincy should go to somebody like Bruno Alves or Moutinho who command respect and always give 100%.

Half of the captains job is to motivate his team mates. Ronaldos constant complaining and sulking have the opposite effect. It drags the team down.

I really hope he can bring his attitude into line with his natural talent and become a complete player but until he does he will have to put up with the criticisms like the ones in this article because they are 100% legitimate.
Captaincy - It's Portugal not Ronaldugal
57 Sunday, 17 June 2012 11:21
I don't think Ronaldo's gesture’s on the pitch to wards his teammates when they misplace a pass is something he should be doing as captain of the team. I personally do not think he is a good captain, I don't necessary think it's his fault, it's not in his make-up as a player. His first, second and third thought is about himself, the team thought comes somewhere after ‘’I hope my hair style is still in place’’.

I think Alves should have the armband, with Pepe vise captain. It might take some pressure off Ronaldo to play with a bit more freedom.

Ronaldo needs to come to terms (as do some Portugal fans) with the comparisons with Messi. He should be true to him self and say maybe just maybe Messi is better at this time. Come on seriously, is it a terrible thing considering the trophies Messi has won. Put quite simply he needs to get over it.

Anyhow, I for one have enjoyed this tournament so far, but left thinking we have missed out on the battle of egos between Ronaldo and Zlatan in Portugal V Sweden contest. Now that would be interesting to see.

Lets hope Portugal progress to the next round of games.
56 Sunday, 17 June 2012 04:28
he looks too frustrated in the first 2 minutes. he needs to relax and believe. If we had him showing up like gomez and others portugal will win all. We need him to be more than a distraction.
hey fernando
55 Saturday, 16 June 2012 21:26
i take offense to your post. read mine. i did not say he has 3 players marking him. i dont believe i'm making excuses for him. if you think so, fine your opinion. and you know each person has their own opinion re the best in the world. you clearly do not think he is. don't call me bias for believing he is because he's portuguese. i won't get into a messi/ronaldo debate as i'm certain that's who you think is better. bttm line BOTH have not led their national team to glory. as it's soccer they need help around them.
54 Saturday, 16 June 2012 18:33
Figo>Ronaldo...any day of the week!
Paul montreal
53 Saturday, 16 June 2012 18:29
Look I love Ronaldo but lets be honest he is one of the best players in the world and iam proud he plays for our country but lets not be bias he is not the best player in the world...and he rarely has 3 players marking him ok...so enough with the excuses and lets "hope" he shines against Holland and we can go to the next round!
CR needs to be held accountable like the rest
52 Saturday, 16 June 2012 18:11
Lots of discussion on CR and each player on the team is accountable to give the best effort as part of the team's collective accountability. A few conclusions:

1) It is not wrong or mean you are a bad fan (a negative Portuguese fan) for giving a critical analysis of a player. It should be done tasteful and not with hate and mean spirit. It is simple minded to say one is a negative fan for providing a fair analysis of a performance.

2) No more suggestions about him being a striker etc. He is a winger who must play facing the goal. You play him wide or have him make some runs in the middle to mix it up.

3) CR was thinking too much in last game and we including myself who has been critical of his decision-making need to get behind CR. I know the Portuguese will get behind him despite some comments right after the game with emotions high. The Portuguese nation around the world will give CR support -- I am sure.

4) The pressure comes from within not from the fans. Yes the fans want a high performance but in the end each player is responsible for how they handle the pressure.

5) CR needs to make a play as we say in the US of some sort as the best player on the team that demonstrates his capabilities. There are no excuses that he lacks a striker, service, not at RM, etc. For me he does not need to score just show something that breathes confidence and life into the team. I hold him accountable for trying to make a play and play within tactics of the team. Yes, he is accountable if asked to track back (not sure if he is) to help on defense. His contribution is part of the collective team and there is collective accountability on the team. Each player has a accountability to support the team, follow the plan, and give his best. What I expect from CR applies to each player.

The facts are this team is not perfect but thanks to the collective efforts has given Portugal a chance to move on deeper. A final 4 with this team would be a great accomplishment.
we will win
51 Saturday, 16 June 2012 17:32
hay melo(toronto),we will win against holland,sure and ronaldo will be the hero.
50 Saturday, 16 June 2012 14:49
i laugh at the word "reluctance" used here. he is trying, he is running hard at defenders and trying to score, set up. he is paid at madrid to score not to defend. the mf and defense of portugal are responsible for keeping the goals out and he is responsible for scoring and setting up plays. you want a player of that offensive ability working his *ss off playing defense? please. he doesn't do that at madrid people. he is being asked by portugal to do more than he should.

bottom line: that 2nd miss was horrible. he puts that in probably 8 of 10 times. he has not produced the same for portugal as madrid/united but he is trying, probably too much. can anyone see portugal without him? fck you kidding me? it's not like this is a season where these bad games disappear fast. it's a very short tournament and sometimes one needs luck to shine. if he wasn't trying, running, having chances, setting up chances i would be worried.

portugal fans on his case, take it easy. rest of the world sck it because you would die to have him as your leader. how can anyone really not be proud of having the best player in the world as your leader. have to support him.

p.s. only thing i hate is the whining and the arrogance i see. you really do not need that cristiano. as you're not perfect don't expect your teammates to be. everyone makes mistakes.
From "A Bola"
49 Saturday, 16 June 2012 11:24
On the discussion of Ronaldo's performances for Portugal maybe Portugal should have built a team around him, he certainly wouldn't mind! Manuel Cajuda agrees with this:
""A ambição e ansiedade dele não estão a ajudar nada. Todos queremos o Cristiano Ronaldo a jogar como no Real Madrid, mas esquecemo-nos que nesta selecção faltam 60% do Real Madrid. Só está ele, o Pepe e o Coentrão", prossegue Cajuda. O ex-treinador da União de Leiria considera ter sido "um erro estratégico" não programar uma selecção "a jogar para o Cristiano Ronaldo": "Não se pode querer que o Ronaldo jogue à Real Madrid quando o resto da selecção não joga assim. Deveríamos ter optado por um outro desenho esquemático e um modelo de jogo mais propício", vinca o técnico."
Ronaldo equation..
48 Saturday, 16 June 2012 07:47
For all you doubters out there who still think Ronaldo should be dropped, here is a simple fact outlined to me while watching the England game last night.
Portugal - Ronaldo = Ireland
47 Saturday, 16 June 2012 06:21
I have been following Portugal ever since they surprised Europe by making it to the semi-finals in 2000, and to be honest I have never seen anybody for our National Team run at defenders with the pace, skill and power Ronaldo does. I have never seen countries literally triple mark a player whenever he gets the ball. I have never seen a player step up to take a winning penalty in a quarter final, never mind smash it into the top corner. Ronaldo is the best we will see for our beloved National team for many years to come so whether his leadership or finishing skills are brought into question, he is the leader of this team and their is nothing the media or anybody else can do about it. Did anyone honestly think Bento would strip his armband? C'mon people... I don't worry too much because Ronaldo is a deadly switch, and all it takes is one moment, one shot, and the goals will come. Whether this happens or not I honestly believe, and thats good enough for a fan, and its all a fan should need to do. Ronaldo will light up Holland on Sunday, not because he has to prove his worth, but because he can. Belief is all we have right now and I hope Ronaldo can do things other Portuguese legends could never do, and bring us where we deserve to be on July 1st.
smart guy
46 Saturday, 16 June 2012 01:36
I do agree with your comments (harish/india) you are BANG ON...What has killed us the last few years are non creative midfielders who are CHICKEN and LOUSY at cracking the ball every now and then.

what is Ronaldo's problem with the National Team?

BAD LUCK perhaps

Maybe he should resort back to the days when his jersey had,,,

He had much better luck

The world knew a Ronaldo, but he was from Brazil...

The world was amazed when a C.RONALDO from Portugal blow theirs minds with all that skill.
Response to Tony in Canada
45 Friday, 15 June 2012 17:57
(tony canada) "ronaldo is a great player but hes not the best im sorry but messi steps up for club and country."

Hahahahhahahhahahahahhaha. Copa America 2011. WC2012. The CL games against Chelsea this year. teh last 4 Clasicos. You should spend more time looking things up rather than embrassing yourself on this website.
44 Friday, 15 June 2012 17:53
It's also fair to point out that Luis Figo was criticized alot too especially early on in his career when the team was struggling to even qualify for tournaments. Remember that? Once he was subbed and walked right off the field to the dressing room? Remember that?

Do you remember the fiasco of WC2002 and how much criticism the team received? Even Zidane was cricized both in France and the Madrid media throughout his career.

When athletes retire its alot like when people die. Once they are gone no one says anything bad about them.
43 Friday, 15 June 2012 17:25
Why do people keep comparing messi to ronaldo ........ they are so different, Ronaldo is like a machine compared to messi. in conclusion i dont think any of them are the best players in the world. But if had to choose out of either of them, i think ronaldo is better all round- heading, freekicks. But to be fair neither are the perfect player. Center Midfielders pull the strings. Both cant defend for shit.
Messi vs Ronaldo
42 Friday, 15 June 2012 16:35
Tom, it would be easy for him not to take the bait if he was sitting confortably in a couch instead of having just played one of his worst games for the national team. Plus, he's more than used to supporters yelling "Messi", so that surely had nothing to do with his behavior. Anyway, and mind you that I don't appreciate at all that kind of reply, what Ronaldo said is spot on.

I've always felt that due to media pressure Ronaldo has to perform much better than Messi to get the same recognition. And recently people have started saying that Ronaldo doesn't play well in the NT, contrary to Messi, which is absurd.

First of all, people forget that they're comparing a winger to a center forward, which is in better position to get more goals. Plus, their goal average for the NT is not that different: Ronaldo 32/92 = 0.35 Messi 26/70 = 0.37. But there's one very big difference, and this is why the talk about Ronaldo not performing while Messi does is astonishingly biased: of the 32 goals Ronaldo scored, only 5 were in friendlies while 16 of Messi's 26 goals were scored in friendlies. That's almost 62% for god's sake! (And that "sensational" hat-trick was against Brazil's Olympic team...)
Need a new captain.
41 Friday, 15 June 2012 15:55
Time for Portugal to get a new captain. After blowing those 2 glorious chance all you do is talk about Messi in your press conference...
ronaldo the maestro
40 Friday, 15 June 2012 14:10
play him as a central midfielder with nani and quaresma on both sides.more than his pace and runs,more than his dribbling what we need from him is the creativity to read and control a game.what about playing with two strikers there ronaldo is a central midfielder and coentravo a holding midfielder?what about becoming a bit more positive?
Another thing..
39 Friday, 15 June 2012 13:44
I see what people saying stop getting on Ronaldo's back, but yes we do truly need him to win the euro, but me personally I think he needs a bit more class to him self, like players like Figo and Rui Costa CLASS. And like I said he did have a good game, just the pressure he couldn't hack it, many greats have felt pressure, but the true great surpass the pressure and become true legends, Hopefully all can be forgotten after the next game, after we win 3-2 lol with a Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick hahahaha (wish...more 3-0 please (no jynx lol))
38 Friday, 15 June 2012 13:38
I thought he was having a decent game before them 2 awful misses, especially the last one..If he was in a Real madrid shirt im sure he would have rounded the keeper..As per usual for Portugal he cant handle the pressure for being the best player in Europe and captain of Portugal, he needs to relax more, stop moaning at the other Portugal team mates and keep working! To be honest if we drew the game he would have been slaughtered by the Portuguese press and the international press, thank god for Varelas goal, cause we should have taken our chances, same s@!~ yet again..
I hope C.Ronaldo can prove us all wrong, but I don't think so
37 Friday, 15 June 2012 13:31
Sir, i salute you, you have nailed the nail on the head.
More succintly put than I could, you are absolutely spot on!
Tom Clee's Response
36 Friday, 15 June 2012 10:55
I think this article is spot on and the response a couple points below is absolutely correct. On the pitch a captain does not have the opportunity to take his team aside and address concerns/tactics etc... that is for 90 minutes his "actions speak louder than words" and his body language/gestures etc. are absolutely his only means of leading and communicating with his team. I agree with the other poster below who said "he is not a leader of men", a sublime talent - yes, the best player on the team - yes. But Ronaldo's idea of leading is to put the onus on himself to make something happen vs supporting and leading his team. His gestures/body language/accusing looks do nothing but add unneeded pressure to the others. He seems happiest with PERSONAL glory, the best example is the Korea game at the last world cup where he did not crack a smile until he scored which was long after Portugal had put the game out of reach. I'm a HUGE fan of what he does on the pitch but not of the person I think he is (based on my perception of some of his antics)
Postage isn't helping Ronaldo
35 Friday, 15 June 2012 10:37
Give him something to play with up front, like speed and Creativity. Postiga is slow, not making it to balls he should and has zero creativity, tripping on the ball in close. Start Nelson and you will see a different dynamic and different Ronaldo. Postiga couldn't make a single national team in this Euro, so how can he be our striker. It's tough when Ronaldo starts something only to see the play die at the strikers feet. I hope Bento has the courage to make this change.
Tie-breaking criteria
34 Friday, 15 June 2012 08:56
Tie-breaking criteria

If two or more teams are equal on points on completion of the group matches, the following criteria are applied to determine the rankings (according to paragraphs 8.07 and 8.08 of the regulations, and amendment to 8.07 adopted by the UEFA Executive Committee):[38][39]

Higher number of points obtained in the matches played between the teams in question;
Superior goal difference resulting from the matches played between the teams in question (if more than two teams finish equal on points);
Higher number of goals scored in the matches played between the teams in question (if more than two teams finish equal on points);
If, after having applied criteria 1 to 3 to more than two teams, two teams still have an equal ranking, criteria 1 to 3 are reapplied exclusively to the matches between the two teams in question to determine the final rankings of the two teams. If this procedure does not lead to a decision, criteria 5 to 10 apply in the order given;
Superior goal difference in all group matches;
Higher number of goals scored in all group matches;
If two teams which are tied in all criteria 1 to 6 play their last group match against each other (i.e., the result is a draw and the two teams have the same number of points, goal difference and goals scored), and provided no other teams within the group have the same number of points, the ranking of the two teams in question is determined by penalty shoot-out. Otherwise, criteria 8 to 10 apply in the order given;
Position in the UEFA national team coefficient ranking system;
Fair play conduct of the teams (final tournament);
Drawing of lots.
33 Friday, 15 June 2012 08:53
Hi guys,

First of all thanks for all of the comments, positive or otherwise. I just wanted to clear a couple of things up.

Firstly, when I say that it is time for Ronaldo to show what he is made of, I am not suggesting in any way that he has anything to prove to anybody. There can be no denying that he is a devastatingly good player. I'm not calling for him to be dropped, nor saying that he won't perform well on Sunday. I sincerely hope he does, I am simply saying that he needs to keep the histrionics to a minimum and remember his role as captain.

Before the tournament began everybody was in agreement that for Portugal to prosper Ronaldo would have to shine. Even if he had been carrying the team in the first two games, he should not be criticising his teammates so publicly. Gee them up, encourage them to do better, sure, but don't stand with your hands on hips and puff out your cheeks. Captains simply don't do that, especially if they are having an off-day themselves.

I'm not saying that such actions have created a rift within the squad, but I do believe that if they were to continue then some of his teammates would be will within their rights to feel more than a little frustrated.

Secondly, my intention was not to villify Ronaldo for the misses. As Pepe said, even the best make mistakes. My criticism came from the fact that he was not helping out his teammates in defence. I am more than happy to accept that Paulo Bento may have told him to do so initially, but the reality is that Bento is somewhat of a conservative manager, and with ten minutes to play while protecting a narrow lead in a crucial group game I don't think Ronaldo's instructions would have been anything other than to track back and help out.

With regards to his body language, I completely agree that this is pure conjecture. Personally I don't think you can read too much into it, nor that it affected his performance. I was just making the point that there had been rumours of a bust-up and if you were looking for any evidence then the signs were perhaps there.

Finally with regards to the Messi comments...Personally I feel sorry for Ronaldo that despite having proved himself to be a very unique talent, he is still always compared to somebody else. It must be very frustrating to constantly get the same questions posed to you and extremely difficult not to react negatively. But having said that, it would have been very easy to bat away the questions on Wednesday, he shouldn't have taken the bait.

Anyway, I hope that clears up a few issues. Best of luck for Sunday, I will be rooting for Portugal (and Cristiano!).
32 Friday, 15 June 2012 08:29
Maby everyone mocking him and yelling messi at him will set something off in him on sunday to shut the haters up.

Lets see
Good analysis in this article
31 Friday, 15 June 2012 05:28
I think this is a very good article. Lots of truth in it.

People think this to be a hate CR comments. Not true. No one hates him. Its that of late his attitide on the pitch has been exposed and people dislike it. His behaviour is not normal. He is one of the worlds best n everyone wants him to do well n not waste such talent with ego. Portugaaaallllllllllllllll!!
The Ronaldo Propoganda
30 Friday, 15 June 2012 05:08
The only issue i have with Ronaldo is how he doesn't track back to play defense consistently. Like others, i don't know if that's just stubbornness on his part or if it's an actual instruction from the coaching staff. I believe it's stubbornness because he rarely tracked back to play defense in the Denmark game as opposed to the game against Germany where he tracked back to play defense more than we ever saw. If what i say is the truth, Bento really needs to do something about it. Last thing we need on this team, is somebody that isn't a team player and not able to adapt to strategy due to a personal glory motive. In regards to the golden chances he missed to score against Denmark, who cares? That's football. He's only human. I don't understand why the media combined with fans put unrealistic expectations on the guy. Portugal isn't about Ronaldo. Ronaldo is just a component. We're passed the days of relying solely on our golden offensive tool. This team has something truly special, and we proved that in our past two games despite the loss against Germany. With all due respect to Ronaldo, this team is more than capable of winning without him and we proved that on numerous occasions.

When i read and hear about how much we're supposed to rely on Ronaldo, i find it bizarre. It's extremely disrespectful to the rest of the team to spit out such propaganda like that. I really hope that we don't have to read through another article like this on here again just because he missed a couple of bloody chances and looked somewhat demoralized before and during a couple segments from the game.
hes no figo
29 Friday, 15 June 2012 03:48
ronaldo is a great player but hes not the best im sorry but messi steps up for club and country. portugal will never win anything major with him wearing the arm band he is a terrable pick to be are leader he will never be figo and will never beat messi i only wish portugal can win sunday and ronaldo gets another yellow so that he would miss the next match and i bet that you would see a better portugal with him not playing. im sorry to all the ronaldo lover but you have to start watching the way he plays the game( for Portugal ) with your EYES not your heart. last game was one of many bad games he has had since 2008 as much as it sucks to hear this many of you know its true
28 Friday, 15 June 2012 03:20
Seriously guys, you must learn what is criticism and what is hate.
Tom is criticising Ronaldo and analysing what happened last game, which to be fair, is a mirror relfection of Ronaldo's performance for Portugal in previous tournaments.
At the end of the day folks, with great players come great expectactions, and from the best player in the world you expect the best. Similarly, from Spain you expect the best football. It's not difficult to understand.
I more easily accept and escuse a miss from Postiga who is an average player than one from Ronaldo.
Lastly, Ronaldo does not help himself with his demeanour off the field and on the field antics. He IS a great football player, but he is also arrogant, prepotent, petulant and selfish.
All these things apart, the bottom line is, that for such a talented player he needs to play better for Portugal, simple as. Now I do believe he knows this, and he will be trying to do better, and he may yet still do, but so far he has not, at all.
27 Friday, 15 June 2012 02:33
Don't forget what he did when we played Bosnia he scored two buitiful goals and he was involved in the whole game, I never seen him so happy like he was that day with Portugal and if it wasnt for him leading Portugal through those playoff games we wouldn't be were we are today.so don't be to hard on him we all know he could easily take us to the quarter finals. Look out if cr7 is on fire Sunday I could see all players getting pumped up and it could be a similar game like we had with Bosnia. Nobody else then Ronaldo would love see Portugal advance out of the group of death and go all the way to glory, think positive and good things could happen in this euro cup, forca Portugal forca Ronaldo.................
Will be pissed off if we don't beat Holland
26 Friday, 15 June 2012 01:57
Just hope Portugal can do the business against Holland, we have a terrific record against them, can't believe they have lost two games, surely Portugal can still go through with even a draw, as long as Denmark lose.
Nothing to prove
25 Thursday, 14 June 2012 23:58
Sorry Tom, can't agree with the point of this article.

To my mind, Ronaldo has, on many occasions, showed us what he is made of.

> he showed it in 2004 when he injected life into a team that was in need of some youth;

> he showed it in 2006 in Germany, when he did everything to help get Portugal to the semi-finals - and had the Young Player of the tournament award stolen from him by a vindictive British press - the same people who create and fostered the image of Ronaldo as the villain to Messi's saint.

Keeping in mind they chose Messi because no player in England - not even Rooney - could lace his boots and they knew it. It is the same pettiness that leads fans of opposing teams to chant Messi to taunt him.

> he showed it in successive playoff against Bosnia, one of which he played on a bad ankle - against the wishes of his club team - to score a goal before coming off.

Show what he's made of? Tom, for those of us who have lived and died with our national team for many many years, he has nothing to prove or show.

I doubt anyone of us here know him personally - actually, I'm willing to be none of us do, because if we did, we wouldn't be having discussions about his commitment to the team or talent. I'll go with what guys like Mourinho say - a task master who praises Ronaldo for his professionalism and commitment to winning.

I've said this before on this site - I have relatives in Portugal who are have a pretty close personal relationship with a former member of the Seleccao. While they have never had the chance to speak with Ronaldo - their friend says that he has never seen anyone with his commitment to winning. That includes guys he played with on the National Team (Figo - my personal favourite, Rui Costa, Jorge Costa, Pinto, and others).

You know what Ronaldo is made of? He has the character to take abuse from opposing fans without lashing out at fans...you know, like kicking the ball at them as it is going out of bounds? It's funny...St. Messi was never taken to task for that action at the Bernsbeu.

He'll show up to play for this country like he always does...he'll take the criticism from friend and foe and keep coming back to put that jersey on. He will have us rising in anticipation every time he charges towards goal with the ball.

A little bit of faith and a lot more respect is the least we could give him.
Most of you missed the point!
24 Thursday, 14 June 2012 23:40
This article is not disputing Ronaldo's ability and contribution to the NT from a technical perspective ... it's an indictment of his behaviour, particularly given that he is the team captain and therefore has a much greater responsibility than any of the other players to behaviour appropriately.

I have said this yesterday ... Ronaldo in a great player BUT a poor captain. He is not a leader, not a role model, and does not show respect to his team mates. You still have to respect your team mates even when you are better than them. Furthermore, a great leader and sportsman for that matter is humble in both victory & defeat and repectful to the opposition or his adversaries.

PLEASE Ronaldo, grow up OR Bento should give the armband to someone else (Pepe).

Don't get me wrong I love Ronaldo, I just wish he could improve his undesirable behaviour and truly become one of the great players of all time.

Just a bad game
23 Thursday, 14 June 2012 23:26
Its funny how when someone is consistently so good for so long and as soon as they have a really bad day the haters come out. Everyone (including CR7) agrees it was a very bad day but every Portuguese (hopefully) would take a win accompanied with a bad day for CR7. The only thing that really bothered me was his failure to track back but this may have been part of Bento's tactics.

The fact is that we needed him to get to the Euros and we are going to need him on Sunday. CR7 will eat his humble pie and show up against the Dutch.

Forca Portugal!
David USA
22 Thursday, 14 June 2012 23:15
Ronaldo deserves our respect based on his performance with our NT?!!!! Theres about 40 of us that get together to watch our team play everytime theres a game and 90 percent of the time we leave disappointed with his performance! We are waiting for him to perform....and dont bring up the Serbia game!
To all those complaining about this article
21 Thursday, 14 June 2012 23:08
Even a blind man could see there was something wrong with Ronaldo before and during the game. He cannot handle the pressure of leading his country at major tournaments.

He is a very bad captain, and his behaviour and gestures to his team-mates is a disgrace. He needs to grow up, and learn from his mistakes. Ronaldo is no Figo. Figo was a respected captain, who commanded respect from his players, and led by example. When have you ever seen Ronaldo encourage and motivate his players? NEVER
20 Thursday, 14 June 2012 23:05
I was embarrased that he brought Messi into this when in fact all Messi has done is compliment Roni...unfortunately Roni cannot deal with the fact that he is second best and its affecting our club. There are some here doing the exact same thing by knocking Messi about not scoring in the world cup...well he did score a few goals in the WC in 2006 when he was 19 and why do we have to give a shit anyway?!! My advice to Ronaldo is play your game and stop your infatuation with Messi because being the second best player in the world is not too shabby!!
19 Thursday, 14 June 2012 21:43
Lay off CR7 - the man will pull through on Sunday! Why do we need to analyze everything he does? For those of you who can't figure it out - he was praying during the anthem!! He wants to do well, and wants to make a difference, now lets get behind him. So what if he is arogant - I might be arogant aswell if I had his skills and lifestyle - who cares. Why don't you guys hate on Van Persie or Torres - leave our man alone.
18 Thursday, 14 June 2012 21:10
I miss the C.Ronaldo from Euro 2004. He was just a lad having fun playing Futebol with no worries in the world.
17 Thursday, 14 June 2012 20:41
Guys Guys Guys its true from what I know football is a team sport right. Just because he stuffed up and missed chances doesnt mean we haveto be against him. Hes a true portuguese player with passion and fire and ppl jump on him like a fly to s**t. All i gotta say see everyone elses performance as they all work together. I still say get varela more playing time, hes for sure playing with pride for the country and perhaps oliveira in aswell. These 2 seem to change the morale of the game and portugal seems to attack more when they are on.
CR portugal loves you no matter what and ppl are right focus on your game and not what needs to be done. Football is a dance if you try to hard it wont work. Give us that sumba move on the pitch and show holland what we are made off. FORCA PORTUGAL!!!!!!!!!!!1
Portugal Denmark
16 Thursday, 14 June 2012 20:40
Ronaldo is not a leader of men. He is a unique talent. Why make him Captain?

Can't blame him regarding Postiga - what a joke player. Wouldn't get a place up front with any top European club side (even when he was younger) so why does he lead the Portuguese national team?

Anyway we will have to play remarkably well to get a result against Holland and avoid getting thrashed, as if that team clicks, Holland can beat anybody and score a lot of goals doing so. Should be a cracker!
@jason m
15 Thursday, 14 June 2012 19:47
Sure I agree that some Portuguese are Aholes (maybe the ones you know). But you don't know Ronaldo personally, so you have no reason to hate him. If you don't like him its because of your preconceived notions of him. The media paints him as an egotistical prima donna, so you believe it without hesitation. Based on performance alone, Ronaldo deserves our respect and admiration (not paying attention to the person he is, b/c face it, you'll never know).
14 Thursday, 14 June 2012 19:04
Yes I agree with you, goal.com is the worst site. I vent my opinion on those stupid articles any time I am dumb enough to take a peak at them.

But what annoys me most, is that Portugal won and why can't we be more happy, why is there always a bloody problem. The media is absolutely against us, even when we win it is like we lost.

We really do have to stick togther more then ever this year. Lets support Ronaldo as he is getting destroyed everywhere and he doesn't need us killing him. I really hope our natonal team shuts up all the critics this year, and yesterday was a grand start. Forca Portugal!!
13 Thursday, 14 June 2012 18:45
Our best player was mediocre and we still played well and won. What's the problem?

He had three good chances. He was stopped on one and missed the other two. But Goal.com and some other media are wrong to say this was a terrible performance he still created several good scoring chances and he was very involved in the game.

The difference from Portugal in WC2010 and the Denmark game was that in South Africa Ronaldo wasn't scoring because he was not involved enough in the game. Portugal is less reliant on him now with Nani and other quality players.

I've followed his career very closely and I don't know any other player who is more committed to winning and therefore takes losing worse than Ronaldo. He goes to stretches where he is noticiably frustrated but he always recovers in a big way.

By the time it is all set and done, he will have scored 3 or 4 goals in this tournament. Because Portugal will make the semi-finals and possibly beyond.

As is the case with Messi and Ronaldo, the media is always quick to pounce of them when they fail because they are so often in the spotlight and these players are what is selling the global game.

Messi has NEVER scored in a major tournament at the senior level. Plus, he caused his team both games against Chelsea in the champions league.

Ronaldo, I'm sure will come back extra motivated because 1) He has something to prove. And 2)He will have more confidence in his teammates

Forca Portugal!!
Bad Article
12 Thursday, 14 June 2012 18:21
This piece is speculative and melodramatic, the exact things that run rampant throughout football journalism. I am not saying this because it is an article targeting Ronaldo, I am simply judging the quality of journalism on show here. As a long time reader of this site, I expect much more, as the articles here are almost always well informed, and rooted in facts. The only facts we have are 3 misses from a normally prolific player. To speculate on petulant gestures, and extrapolate them to the point of fabricating a little soap opera of discontent within the Portuguese squad is absurd.
calm down
11 Thursday, 14 June 2012 17:27
This is ridicolous. One bad game and now people want him on the chopping block. He doesn't track back. I guess these same people didn't see the game against Germany? Because after that game I distinctly remember everyone praising Ronaldo for tracking back and helping out Coentrao. Ronaldo didn't choose to not track back, he was most likely given instructions to not do so.
10 Thursday, 14 June 2012 17:07
lol @ me being portuguese that i have to like Ronaldo. My neighbors are portuguese and they are assholes but acording to some of you I should love them because they are my country men. F that. I hate them. Just because I am Portuguese doesn;t mean I have to like Ronaldo. Thats just stupid nationalism. Stuff that starts wars and conflicts.
WTH is this????
9 Thursday, 14 June 2012 17:06
we come to portugoal to relax our mind after reading tons of crap about Cr and our NT in the web.Wow what is this?
this article belongs to goal.com or bleacher report aint it?
Ronaldo is just stuborn
8 Thursday, 14 June 2012 17:04
i f you love a person you have to tell him the truth. am one of his biggest fan but rony is just stuborn. the first miss against dinmark. i have watch Ronaldo more than five times making the same mistakes when face with that type of ball.

the same thing happened this year against bayer munich. the away game in munich he was at the same position with the goal keeper he did the same thing.instead of cheeping the ball over the keeper he put it in his hands. that was the ball he later turn to ozil to score in munich, remember after the keeper defended the ball he pass it later to ozil to score for madrid.

i have watch this miss of ronaldo in and out. he is just stuborn cant he change. i dont care if a player score or not but the good decision they make tell you who they are. had he cheap it over the keeper as he should. even loosing it i would not care. i see that the decision was good. but he lacks inteligence on that he will always do the same thing even in the few minutes later, why

Ronaldo has never learnt to cheap the ball over the keeper his miss against turkia one on one with the keeper comfirm it. even had he score that miss against turkia, it was a bad decision to shoot the ball under the legs of the keeper when you have all the angles to put the ball.

After refree blaw for the first half in the match against turky on the way Veloso call him and made a sign with his hand that he should have just cheap the ball over the keeper and that is all.

the second miss against dinmark was another poor decision. would say it even if that ball would have gone in. he put the ball in a tight angle when he should round the keeper or simply cheap it over the keeper. he had all the time and space to do it

i dont care had he cheep the ball over the keeper loose it or round the keeper and loose it as well i wont be worry. but am so much worry if he still stuborn making the bad decision like that.

I was not sad, but happy with all that misses of him. because i wanted him to know that all is not okey and that he needs to improve in making decisions when come in front of a keeper. when the hearth is sad we become wiser. i hope he learnt a lesson yesterday. But i will not be surprised if he repeats the same thing.

i went to madrid too last year to watch their training two times. i have many proofs of what am saying.

i will suport him allways
just let him play
7 Thursday, 14 June 2012 16:48
it's ridiculous how some people try to analyze and read something into every action Ronaldo does.

he deserves criticism for missing two glorious chances. he doesn't for looking down in concentration during the anthem, or not celebrating "hard" enough after a goal. (not to mention an early goal does not mean victory and i rather have the players remain cool and composed than lose concentration in the elation - plus Nani actually got his eye poked in the celebration. what a silly injury that could've been!).

I'm still not sure if his lack of tracking back was directions from Bento to remain a forward threat or if it was just being selfish. If he had finished his 2 earlier chances him not tracking back on the 2nd Bendtner goal wouldn't be an issue and a valid strategy.

Ronaldo is not perfect but who is? Lets keep the criticism to tangible footballing matters, not imagined character flaws.
Ronaldo will step up vs. Holland
6 Thursday, 14 June 2012 16:42
I remember when many Real Madrid fans were putting him down after a very poor performance against Barcelona at home. After that terrible performance, Ronaldo went on to score clutch goals against Barcelona in every other game including the winner in the Camp Nou.

Cristiano Ronaldo is the best player in the competition, but you can tell that he struggles with the pressure of leading his country. He definitely cares about Portugal, but for some reason, he doesn't play with the confidence and swagger we so often see in Madrid.

Ronaldo simply needs to relax. Portugal proved that they could win with Ronaldo having an off game, but when Ronaldo's at his best, he takes Portugal to a whole new level.
Incredibly Annoying Article!
5 Thursday, 14 June 2012 16:22
Ronaldo has nothing to prove to anybody! The fact that people still hassle him and hate on him after ALL he has accomplished is ridiculous. He or his real fans like me, don't give a damn about the masses' acceptance. If you wanna go support somebody else fine, do that your free to. Those who hate him will always hate him no matter what he does. I like Ronaldo because I like Ronaldo's style of play and his attributes. I don't give a damn about Messi. He scored a hatrick against a RESERVE Brazil defense. Besides Marcelo all of those players including the goalkeeper were RESERVES! Ronaldo played well vs Germany, just Boateng made a great last ditch tackle to thwart him. He played well vs Denmark in the first half as well. Made some good runs and passes, and made two great assists to Postiga. If Postiga were a little better he may have been able to score from them. As far as I'm concerned the first opportunity Ronaldo had where he dribbled in from the wide left flank towards the box on a breakaway was okay. He charged to the box as fast as was possible but two defenders were closing on him quickly. If he hesitated any longer the defender would have been able to block him, and by then the second defender would have been there also which would make it even more difficult. He had to shoot and he took it. It was a decent shot, the goalkeeper made a good save. Thats the end of that. The second opportunity when he was one on one with the keeper he should have scored, but he wasn't his normal sharp self at that moment. So what he missed a great opportunity! If you believe in Ronaldo and support him and you are sure, you wouldn't give a damn about what haters say or Messi fans say. There's no need to even write an article like this. We WON the game and we're in with a chance to progress once we beat Netherlands. To me whats really important is what I hear his managers and teammates saying! They all have professed his professionalism and commitment and passion and his undeniable quality! Cristiano Ronaldo is also my favorite because of his mentality and heart! From the very beginning I saw someone with determination passion belief and drive within! Thats one of the things I always admired the most about him! Like many other times before in his life and career he may have fallen down but he WILL RISE AGAIN! And come back STRONGER and BETTER! He LOVES his country and his team and I am sure he will bring Portugal joy with his goals again! What MANY people seem to not be seeing because of their narrow minded biased hate centered on Ronaldo, is that for ONCE since this new generation has competed on the international stage, THE TEAM is pulling their weight and EVERYBODY is stepping up BIG chipping in to score and win games! In the last two tournaments before this one, everybody swore that if Ronaldo didn't shine Portugal had no chance whatsoever. That had been a weakness of the team. People this has CHANGED! Bento has built a truly strong team where EVERYBODY gives their all and is committed to winning! I believe this is a good omen and the team is now well balanced and strong! Ronaldo WILL bounce back! And its not only about him. The whole team will learn from this and collectively get even better! Belief is more powerful than doubt. I BELIEVE! FORCA PORTUGAL!!!
seeing the cracks..
4 Thursday, 14 June 2012 15:51
Ronaldo has to stop thinking so danm much when hes playing for Portugal and just play his game!!. The two times with one vs one with the keeper were awful!, what in the world was he thinking??...all he needed to do is run in more , make a move on the keeper and slot it in....The supporting cast he has is much better than his foe Messi, he should just keep quiet about comments the fans make and worry about producing something. Although some people here say oh bench him for a match, I think this would defiantely destroy team morale and isolate him from everyone else. It seems hes lost the love and passion for the game, like its a boring job to play for the Seleccao, and is thinking way too much of what move hes going to pull off or when to shoot or pass.

The game yesterday didnt seem to flow for him, it was like he was thinking way too much. Lets pray for a good result for them vs holland sunday, and please Ronaldo, just PLAY your game!, stop worrying about what the fans are chanting or whatever...

Predicting a 2-1 victory for them vs holland sunday and advance in second behind Germany

final results Group B

Germany 9 points
Portugal 6 points
Denmark 3 points
Holland 0 points
3 Thursday, 14 June 2012 15:37
I'm tired of our own countrymen putting down CR. This is tasteless, ugly, and cruel.

CR has been the model of consistency and anytime something goes wrong he's vilified and crucified.

Just think about how much worse our team would be without CR commanding double and triple teams. Accept CR for the player he is, and if you don't then don't talk about what he should or shouldn't do (he can't hear you/nor would he give two *ucks) You're in denial if you don't want CR on your team.

How quick you followers turn when things go bad. Its going to be fun to see you all ride his jock after at hatrick!
Not happy
2 Thursday, 14 June 2012 15:34
maybe it is just me but, after the goals Portugal scored. Ronaldo , didn't seem that Happy
1 Thursday, 14 June 2012 15:33
Wasnt expecting such a dramatic article from you guys. You're usually very pro Ronaldo, and leave the soap opera stuff alone.

Trying to guess Ronaldo's mood before a game?

There is no doubt his performance was weak yesterday, but Portugal won. Can we please stop constantly depending on a Ronaldo story every time the National team plays?

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