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Cristiano Ronaldo.

Eric Abidal trolls Cristiano Ronaldo for Euro 2016 final injury

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Cristiano Ronaldo will forever look back at the Euro 2016 final with mixed emotions.

While Portugal would eventually run out extra-time winners, their talisman suffered a serious knee injury in the first half and was forced to withdraw from the game.

His absence would ultimately hold no bearing on the result, but with Ronaldo in the team, Fernando Santos' side might have secured victory within 90 minutes.

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That's not according to Barcelona legend Eric Abidal, though, who has a slighty different take on the effect Ronaldo's injury had.

In fact, the former defender believes Portugal benefited from their captain being substituted, even going as far to say France were given a harder game without him.

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He told Grup 14: "Ronaldo was out because he was injured - it was a problem for France and an advantage for Portugal.

"Portugal were more relaxed without Ronaldo. The players there normally play for Ronaldo, but without him the team spirit is different, there was no stress.

"But for France, it was a shock because Ronaldo is not on the pitch. We have to fight more.

"Look who scored the goal for Portugal, some guy from the back (of the pecking order) who had never played before."

Portugal v France - Final: UEFA Euro 2016

Ronaldo will ultimately care little about Abidal's claim having lifted the trophy and won his first major international honour.

However, the 31-year-old isn't one to accept criticism so I think we can expect a response - much like he did to Xavi - in the near future.

This isn't the first time Abidal has taken a swipe at Ronaldo. In 2015, he claimed Karim Benzema is Real Madrid's best and most important player.

Barcelona v Manchester United - UEFA Champions League Semi Final

"Benzema is the man I'd sign from Madrid if I were at Barca," he told Gol TV, per Goal. "Definitely, because for me he is Madrid's most important player right now.

"If you take Benzema away from Real Madrid then they would continue scoring goals, but not as many as they do with Karim in the team. He's a very complete player and other players well in Madrid when Karim is there.

"So yes, if I have to sign one person it would be him. And not just because he is my friend and my compatriot, but because of his qualities."

As brilliant a striker as Benzema is, to say he's more important than Ronaldo is bold to say the least.

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Topics:
La Liga
Real Madrid
Football
Cristiano Ronaldo
Portugal National Football Team
Lionel Messi
Barcelona
UEFA Champions League
Euro 2016

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