Ronaldo-watch: Jaded Cristiano left frustrated as Portugal held by minnows

15 Jun

For all his penalty-winning jubilation and bare-chested histronics in helping Real Madrid win an 11th European Cup less than three weeks ago, only the most one-eyed of observers can claim that Cristiano Ronaldo did anything of note during the 120 minutes preceding the penalty shoot-out against Atletico Madrid.

The preening Portuguese appeared to still be suffering the effects of a thigh injury suffered earlier that same week and the 31-year-old did not seem his usual self, production-wise at least, on a frustrating evening for his country in Saint-Etienne on Tuesday night.

Held by tournament debutants Iceland – a country so small that Ronaldo has almost scored a career goal for each of it’s inhabitants – Ronaldo pressed and harried but was not able to affect proceedings as much he, and millions watching at home and around the continent, may have expected. Shots were blocked, runs were cut-off and assists were wasted.

With Austria to come on Saturday before Hungary complete the Group F programme next Wednesday, Ronaldo will have more chances to ease his way into a tournament he has revelled in in previous years, but Iceland will forever invoke nightmares for the much-hyped forward.



Cristiano-Ronaldo’s evening, minute by minute

2min Sent Nani through on goal but former Manchester United team-mate unable to convert

12 Attempt blocked from outside the area after receiving from Santos

20 Shows quick feet to create space and cross from left for Nani, who can only head straight at Halldorsson

24 Heads just over crossbar after Vieirinha cross

26 Pepe sends ball over the Icelandic defence, but Ronaldo fails to react in time

32 Has no part to play in goal as Nani puts Portugal in front

39 Pushed off the ball and to the ground as cross gathered by Halldorsson

47 Has shot blocked from outside the area before firing follow-up wide

58 Shot blocked from close range

65 Screams in frustration as Nani is unable to convert chance from close range

73 Shoots over from outside the area

82 Sends attempt wide from ambitious free-kick

85 Can only send tame header straight at Halldorsson

89 Jumps high but is penalised for challenge on Halldorsson

90 Free-kick from range is blocked by an Icelandic hand

90 Another free-kick is blocked just before the final whistle


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