Portugal’s place in the knockout stages of Euro 2020 is hanging in the balance.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s side were defeated 4-2 by Germany last Saturday afternoon, a result that means they now need a win against France on Wednesday evening to guarantee a place in the next round.
That will be far from easy against a Les Bleus side that contains some of the very best attack-minded players on the planet.
The likes of Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann, Karim Benzema and Paul Pogba will be licking their lips after Portugal’s inept defensive display against Germany.
For much of the game, Fernando Santos’ side were pretty darn woeful. Well, apart from Ronaldo, who was his usual brilliant self throughout.
The Juventus superstar scored the opening goal of the game and assisted Diogo Jota to reduce Portugal’s deficit.
Ronaldo also produced a marvellous piece of skill to get the better of Germany’s Antonio Rudiger.
The 36-year-old flicked the ball over the Chelsea centre-back’s head, before back-heeling it to a teammate while not looking.
Ronaldo’s skills vs Germany
It was shades of the fresh-faced Ronaldo at Manchester United that took English football by storm.
However, former Liverpool man Didi Hamann was not impressed by the Portuguese superstar’s showboating and has bravely labelled the forward a “fool” in one of his rants.
“I think it’s nonsense,” the midfielder-turned-pundit said on RTE, per Marca. “He flicks the ball over, pretends he is going to catch it and back-heels it across, and looks away.
“Of course it is [amazing] and we know he can do that. I think, in a way he’s belittling the opposition.
“This is at 1-0 and I’m sitting here while you all rave about it. Yes, he is the best, with [Lionel] Messi.
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“He looks a fool now. This is 1-0. He does look the fool. If you ask the German players, they’ll tell you now what they thought of it.
“They would have noticed that. I tell you now, all of them will say it may have given us an extra bit of whatever to change things.
“What is he trying to achieve? Maybe this is where it all [Germany’s comeback] started.”
Does Hamann have a point? While the skill moves from Ronaldo were mighty impressive, you can’t help but feel that they would have acted as motivation for the Germany players.
Sometimes, it’s best to save the showboating for the training ground – or at least until the final minutes of a game when your team has a comfortable lead.