After Portugal's 1-1 draw with relative minnows Iceland earlier this week, Cristiano Ronaldo let rip at his opponents for their "small mentality" in a post match interview.
The Portuguese captain was clearly frustrated with his side's performance and his own failure to influence the game, and berated the Icelandic team in an ill tempered rant.
Ronaldo said: “Iceland didn’t try anything. It was a lucky night for them. We should have three points but we are OK. I thought they’d won the Euros the way they celebrated at the end. It was unbelievable. When they don’t try to play and just defend, defend, defend, this in my opinion shows a small mentality and they are not going to do anything in the competition.”
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The 31-year-old attempted to undermine an Iceland side that worked their tails off and were full value for their point, and will most likely be smirking when they hear Ronaldo's comments.
Portugal still have the chance to progress further in the competition, but made things much more complicated for themselves in failing to win a game that they would've expected to win.
The underlying narrative raised by Ronaldo's rant is that he is obviously frustrated that he has not been able to win a major trophy on the international stage.
Since his tournament debut at Euro 2004, in which Portugal were losing finalists, they have not returned to a tournament final and the Real Madrid man, who has been crucial to his team's hopes at each of the last five tournaments, clearly feels he needs to win an international trophy to stake his claim as the best player ever.
Doing what previous Portuguese greats like Eusebio and Luis Figo failed to do would separate Ronaldo from these storied legends, and his frustrations at yet another poor start to a tournament were plain to see on Tuesday.
Whilst his supporting cast is capable, he is clearly not blessed with as much talent surrounding him as other top players have in their national sides, and it is obvious to the eye watching him in Portuguese colours that he tries to do too much.
A spurned late chance against the Icelandic would've angered him immensely and maybe prompted his outburst.
For a man so used to winning trophies, it must be highly frustrating to not have reached a final since his early days in national colours, and even more frustrating that his teammates are simply nowhere close to his level, or even that of the players he shared the pitch with back in 2004.
Portugal have never won a major trophy and with age not on his side, Ronaldo desperately wants to change that, and soon. He will not get many more chances to lead his country to international triumph and so such a result so early in the competition was clearly too much for him to accept.
Iceland fully deserved a draw and Ronaldo might well regret his comments, but it does not change the fact that his Portugal side were ordinary, and at this rate the long wait for a trophy will continue.
Was Cristiano Ronaldo wrong to slam Iceland after the 1-1 draw? Let us know YOUR thoughts in the comment section below!
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