Euro 2016 was supposed to be a major success for Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo and even though it could still be it is looking unlikely after Portugal suffered another forgettable game in France. This time it was to Austria as Ronaldo’s team could simply not break them down.
However the focus was totally on Ronaldo when, with ten minutes to go, Portugal were awarded a penalty. Up stepped Ronaldo to secure all three points and then he surprised everyone when his shot came smashing off the woodwork. Moments later he thought he had scored from open play but the goal was ruled offside and it’s possible that we have never seen Ronaldo so angry and frustrated.
With this result Portugal now lie in 3rd place in Group F with 2 points with the leaders Hungary on 4. On Wednesday we are all set up for an effective knock out game when the two nations come together and Portugal will need the win to guarantee their last 16 place. If the two teams draw and Iceland get a favourable result over Austria then Portugal and Ronaldo will be waving goodbye to the tournament.
Some of course have rounded on the Real Madrid and Manchester United legend for his small team comments towards Iceland when the nation stunned Portugal with a 1-1 draw in their first game. Some will claim that Ronaldo is getting his just desserts and it’s hard to see another view given just how frustrated the player had become in the Austrian game.
Ronaldo has never won an international trophy despite his club trophy cabinet overflowing but the player and his team would have been left puzzled by the end of the game why they are not converting their chances.
Whilst the point for Austria was admirable the game was dominated from start to finish by the Portuguese. They had 62% of the possession and had 7 shots on target to Austria’s one.
With Ronaldo refusing post match interviews it was up to Portuguese coach Fernando Santos to explain the lack of goals, but he would not be drawn on Ronaldo’s performance. Santos said: “The players cannot be anxious. Of course, we’re going through a tough time right now, but we can’t wallow in out misery. We have a final on 22 June. This is our first of these Euros. We’re going to accentuate the positive, we can’t concentrate on what we missed, this is all football, the next match is a final for us.”
This night was supposed to be a special one for Ronaldo too, who by playing his 128th game had become the record breaker for most caps for his country. Ronaldo and Portugal will be hoping that their luck will change against Hungary on June 22nd.