Home Sports To Cristiano Ronaldo: Portugal captain’s free-kicks are wasteful but his all-round game will cost the country Euro 2024 | Football news

To Cristiano Ronaldo: Portugal captain’s free-kicks are wasteful but his all-round game will cost the country Euro 2024 | Football news

by Editorial Staff
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Fifty seven, missed. Fifty eight, missed. Fifty 9, missed. Sixty, missed. Perhaps time to let another person strive Cristiano?

Far be it from any journalist to inform arguably Portugal’s greatest participant in historical past – even arguably the world’s greatest – what to do.

However Cristiano Ronaldo’s unwavering self-belief, regardless of mounting proof on the contrary, is the elephant within the stadium in the mean time.

4 extra free kicks had been taken in opposition to Slovenia on Monday night time, none of them. There was little question who was taking every set, and whereas his teammates entertained the concept he may cross this one, there was little question the place it could finish.

However the 39-year-old’s gorgeous document of scoring one objective in 60 makes an attempt from set-pieces is an afterthought. It’s 20 years previous. Eric Dier has the higher worldwide document, however you’d nonetheless choose Ronaldo up entrance.

The six-time Ballon d’Or winner deserves higher than being the determine of enjoyable he is changing into, the ironic query: “Who will take it then?” every time a Portugal participant is fouled inside taking pictures vary of the opposition penalty space, though extremely vast angles are additionally not out of the query.

His extraordinary legacy will not be in jeopardy, however as he now admits this will probably be his final Euros, this isn’t how Portugal’s favourite son ought to flip down.

The free-kick stat makes for good memes, however its impression on Portugal’s hopes is an even bigger drawback. Neither he nor his nation can transfer on from their glory days like a singer who returns for one encore too typically.

Even in his eleventh main match, he stays the person Portugal construct their staff round, however in contrast to a lot of the earlier 10, there are few excuses or rewards.

It is a scenario much like his much-loved return to Man Utd, the place he may not play with the depth of his youth or build-up as he was used to. No less than then it was believed that he was there for one purpose – a goal.

Now even they’re costlier.

He scored in each different match he competed in, serving to his nation attain 4 semi-finals and two finals in 20 years. Usually, he was both on the rise or in his world-leading glory, a far cry from the shadow of himself that he’s now.

An aged, restricted Ronaldo registered greater than thrice extra xG at Euro 2024 than anybody else within the Portugal squad. He would nonetheless be comfortably forward if he hadn’t missed a penalty in that 1/8 win over Slovenia.

He created six possibilities for others, however wasted much more himself, and has now taken extra pictures within the match than Scotland.

Even they handle to attain twice and he appears to be like in useless to proceed clear. Ronaldo has taken 5 extra pictures than some other participant in Germany.

The tears streaming down his face after that missed penalty masked a ache deeper than a person fascinated with that missed spot kick. He has already blocked twice from the purpose in earlier tournaments.

Portugal forward No. 07 Cristiano Ronaldo, right, reacts to a missed penalty during the Euro 2024 Round of 16 soccer match between Portugal and Slovenia at the Frankfurt Arena in Frankfurt am Main on July 1, 2024. (Photo by Kirill Kudryavtsev / AFP )
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Ronaldo was left in tears after lacking a penalty in opposition to Slovenia

It was the response of a person someplace, reluctantly, slowly coming to the conclusion, already apparent to the skin world, that he may not cease it.

There have been jokes that he may nonetheless be 43 on the subsequent Euros, with a touch of seriousness – he’s the epitome of a person who does not know when he is executed. However even he acknowledged his personal mortality after Monday’s sport, admitting for the primary time that this will probably be his swan track.

“That is indisputably my final Euro,” he mentioned The sport earlier than providing an understanding of his tears. “I do not get emotional about it, I get emotional about something associated to soccer.”

“I’ll at all times give the whole lot I can for this shirt, whether or not I fail or not,” he later added.

This honesty and these tears have to this point adopted a match of mounting despair. All the best way again in opposition to the Czech Republic of their opening sport, when he missed just a few possibilities and noticed his help on Diogo Scorching’s objective dominated out for offside when he timed his run too early.

He’s the one outfield participant to have began in all 4 matches, however by the point Slovenia confronted off, the frustration had develop into an excessive amount of. There is no such thing as a spring in his leap to satisfy Bernardo Silva’s two crosses, which he would bury for many of his profession. Horrible penalties. Penalty. A weak shot that ought to have received on the finish however was simply saved.

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Requires Ronaldo to sit down out Friday’s quarter-final with France will solely develop louder. Fernando Santos introduced him on for the 2022 World Cup spherical of 16 tie with Switzerland, with substitute Hankal Ramos scoring a hat-trick in a 6-1 win.

However the PSG ahead has solely performed 24 minutes in Germany to this point, whereas Roberto Martinez exhibits no indicators of following in his predecessor’s footsteps as chief of his nation.

“He is a continuing position mannequin for us,” Martinez mentioned Monday night time. “I thank him for being who he’s, for caring for the group, for being someone after he took the penalty, that he was the primary penalty (of the collection).

“I used to be certain he needed to be the primary penalty taker and present us the best way to victory.”

Ronaldo’s confidence as he picked himself up and scored the primary spot-kick in Portugal’s series-clinching win was admirable.

But when Portugal are to beat France in a revenge match for his or her final triumph in 2016, with Martinez’s blessing, Ronaldo will want a contact of his previous trademark magic and never what he has proven to this point.

If it nonetheless exists.

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