Ronaldo’s tears, Portugal’s suffering at Euro 2024

Ronaldo’s tears, Portugal’s suffering at Euro 2024

For Cristiano Ronaldo, tears of pain turned into tears of happiness when Portugal beat Slovenia in a penalty shootout to reach the quarter-finals, even though CR7 missed a penalty in extra time.

Ronaldo's tears, Portugal's suffering at Euro 2024

20 shots, 0 goals

Portugal failed to beat Slovakia in 90 minutes of regulation time and 30 minutes of extra time at the Frankfurt Arena on the morning of July 2, despite having 20 shots and creating an expected goal of 1.87xG. It was a very disappointing night for coach Roberto Martinez and especially C. Ronaldo, who missed 2 good chances, 4 free kicks and a penalty.

CR7 is still in great form to play 120 minutes in the Euro 2024 Round of 16, after being in the starting lineup for all 3 group stage matches. However, age is causing the veteran striker of the Portuguese team to waste opportunities unbelievably from match to match.

The greatest striker in football history, with a fortune of nearly 1,000 goals in official matches, is no longer as sharp and flexible as before. At the age of 39 and after 2 years away from top football , the 39-year-old striker’s skills have been eroded, although his selfishness has not.

The greatness of C. Ronaldo makes few people dare to touch, especially the members of the Portuguese team. However, Ronaldo still has a burning desire to conquer so he does not accept to step back a bit to make room for younger, stronger teammates. CR7 is still the center forward of Portugal.
Ronaldo's tears, Portugal's suffering at Euro 2024 - 1Cristiano Ronaldo disappointed when he missed a penalty in extra time (Photo: Getty).

And statistics show that Ronaldo is the player with the most shots at Euro 2024 so far. After 367 minutes and 4 matches, CR7 has had a total of 20 shots, an average of 5 shots per match, with a total expected goal of 2.85xG… but he still hasn’t scored any goals.

Concerns from two old men Ronaldo and Pepe

120 minutes of ineffectiveness against Slovakia was the clearest expression of C. Ronaldo’s helplessness at the 6th and final Euro of his career, as he himself declared after the match.

In the first half, Ronaldo failed to control Rafael Leao’s pass and then missed a header from Bernardo Silva’s cross when unmarked. These two shots are not included in the above finishing statistics. He then took a free kick that went over the bar and missed another chance from a tight angle.

A similar scenario occurred in the second half, when C. Ronaldo shot over the crossbar and hit goalkeeper Jan Oblak twice in three free kick situations. In the 89th minute, the Portuguese captain had a chance to face the opposing goalkeeper but once again shot the ball into the middle of Oblak.

Every time he steps up to take a free kick, as usual Ronaldo strides with a purpose, takes a deep breath, puffs out his cheeks, runs up and then kicks as hard as he can towards the goalkeeper.
Ronaldo's tears, Portugal's suffering at Euro 2024 - 2Not only Ronaldo, veteran Pepe also caused great disappointment (Photo: UEFA).

Not to talk about quality, but Portugal’s free kicks could have been more varied with two specialists, one left-footed, one right-footed, Bernardo Silva and Fernandes, both technically gifted free kickers who have created countless beautiful curves. But no, every time a free kick was taken, Ronaldo stepped up to finish.

Of course, free kicks were just a small part of the game. Throughout the 120 minutes, Ronaldo’s satellites Rafael Leao, Vitinha, Bruno Fernandes and Joao Cancelo worked very hard and effectively to feed the ball to the 39-year-old striker. However, Portugal’s lack of a finishing touch in the penalty area almost cost the team.

If Ronaldo wasted his chances in attack, then in defense, Pepe, who is 2 years older than Ronaldo, continuously “self-destructed” Seleccao’s defense system. In the 60th minute, when Ruben Dias advanced, Pepe was left alone to defend the defense and was easily passed by striker Sesko using his speed, even though the 41-year-old center-back used all his tricks.

Even more “horrifying” was the mishandling in the 115th minute, as age seemed to have worn Pepe out and he missed the ball, even though he was the last man in front of the goalkeeper. Sesko once again took the ball and charged forward. Fortunately for Portugal, the Slovenian striker finished poorly in both situations.

Ronaldo's tears, Portugal's suffering at Euro 2024 - 3Goalkeeper Diogo Costa shined with 3 penalty saves in the penalty shootout (Photo: Getty).

Portugal’s next opponent is France. If Ronaldo continues to be unlucky and Pepe continues to make mistakes like that, the one who will finish off the Seleccao will not be the clumsy Slovakian striker Sesko, but Kylian Mbappe.

When Ronaldo’s tears are not Portuguese tears

Throughout the match, C. Ronaldo was unable to contain his emotions after missing a penalty kick in the 105th minute. At first, it was just a tear, but then a stream of tears flowed out. Ronaldo cried like the teenager he was 20 years ago when Portugal fell to Greece.

At Euro 2004, Ronaldo cried for himself and for Portugal because of the painful defeat in the final match on home soil. The door to glory was too close. The golden generation of Figo and Rui Costa did not cry, but the young talent currently playing for Manchester United cried for them. What a pity for a beautiful golden generation.

However, Ronaldo’s tears last night were probably only for himself. An old man trying to hold on to his youth and afraid of drifting into oblivion.

More harshly, commenting on C. Ronaldo’s tears after missing a penalty, former player Dietmar Hamann commented: “A 39-year-old player played 120 minutes and missed a penalty.
Ronaldo's tears, Portugal's suffering at Euro 2024 - 4Portugal has a quality squad to go far at Euro 2024 (Photo: Getty).

I have to say that I used to believe that Ronaldo had to play more as a team player because he needed more support from his teammates. I believed that nonsense, but I think he showed his true nature again last night.”

“He missed the penalty, he started crying on the pitch, he cried during the extra time break. And I think he was just crying for himself. A team of 26 players, 20 staff, 30,000 or 40,000 fans in the stadium, Ronaldo has to know how to control his emotions. Once he lets the emotions flow, it’s all over.”

“That was the moment the coach had to say: ‘You have to leave the pitch because you are not mentally fit to play’. Ronaldo deserves credit for taking the first penalty and taking it very well, but as I said, I used to believe that Ronaldo had become a better team player but that was not the case.

He will continue to start in the next match and I see no other result than a victory for the French team.”


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