30.06.2021 » Did Cristiano Ronaldo's team let him down at Euro 2020?
This year's delayed European Championships certainly haven't disappointed so far, with the round of 16 fixtures including an eight-goal thriller between Spain and Croatia and a surprise win for Switzerland against world champions France. Monday also saw defending champions Portugal dumped out by Belgium, with Thorgan Hazard's thunderous long-range strike delivering the decisive blow just before half-time. This was also bad news for fantasy football players, as Portuguese talisman and tournament top-scorer Cristiano Ronaldo was forced to take his leave. But was Ronaldo let down by his teammates, or was it simply not meant to be on what may be his final competitive tournament appearance? If you think that you could build a better team to help Ronaldo shine, try out the Euro 2020 squad builder on BestBettingSites.com.
Cristiano Ronaldo - All his 21 goals in World Cup and European Championships:
Ronaldo's tournament in numbers
CR7 certainly cut a frustrated figure at the end of the game against Belgium, throwing his captain's armband to the floor in the immediate aftermath of the narrow, 1-0 defeat.
There are plenty of reasons for this, with a seasoned winner like Ronaldo never known to take defeat lightly. Similarly, he had previously plundered five goals in the three group-stage games, following on from a domestic season in which he struck 36 times in all competitions for Juventus.
His success in the tournament to date (which included a brace from the penalty spot against France) also took CR7 onto 108 international goals for the Portuguese team, drawing him level with the longstanding world record held by the legendary Iran striker Ali Daei.
Having been denied the immediate chance to beat this record, it's little wonder that Ronaldo was visibly frustrated and disappointed after his side’s second round exit.
The iconic forward's frustration will have been compounded by his relatively disappointing performance against Belgium. Apart from one powerful, first-half free-kick that was pushed away by Belgian keeper Thibaut Courtois, CR7 failed to trouble pose a direct threat to the opponent's goal, with full-back Raphael Guerrerio being presented with the best chance when his strike cannoned off the post late on.
Over the course of the tournament, Ronaldo played four full games in total, banking 360 minutes and (as we’ve already touched on) plundering five goals.
Three of these were scored from the penalty spot, while CR7 also struck a superb counter-attack goal against Germany and finished a sublime team move to complete a 3-0 win over Hungary.
In total, Ronaldo registered 16 attempts across his four matches (eight of which were on target), along with a single assist in the 4-2 defeat against Germany. He completed 113 of his 130 attempted passes (a completion rate of 86%), while he was also fouled nine times by his opponents.
So, was CR7 failed by his teammates?
These statistics make for favourable reading, with Ronaldo having a direct hand (either scoring or assisting) in six of Portugal's seven tournament goals.
He also showcased one of the best passing completion rates amongst Portuguese attackers, highlighting his value to the offensive unit and just how reliant his teammates were on him during the tournament.
Still, the question that remains is whether Ronaldo was actually failed by his teammates, or if he simply assumed a leading role in driving the Portuguese side forward as he has done in previous tournaments?
The truth is probably somewhere in-between, with fellow forward Diogo Jota certainly producing some inconsistent performances across the four matches.
Creative players Bernado Silva and Bruno Fernandes were also slightly disappointing overall, although they perhaps buckled under the weight and physical demands of an incredibly challenging Premier League season.
Fernandes was even dropped from the starting line-up after the opening two group stage games, with the Manchester United player looking exhausted after 18 months of continuous football and featuring in 58 matches at home and overseas during the 2020/21 campaign.
However, while Ronaldo shouldered the attacking burden for Portugal, he did receive some support in the deeper midfield and defensive areas.
Former prodigy Renato Sanches excelled in the final group game against France, for example, while he also provided pace, power and drive as Portugal chased the game against Belgium.
Similarly, central defenders Pepe and Ruben Dias were solid and organised at the back, although the latter wasted a golden opportunity to equalise against the Belgians when he headed a Bruno Fernandes corner straight at Courtois in the second half.
The aforementioned left back Raphael Guerreiro also excelled once again in tournament football, particularly as an attacking outlet. His deflected strike broke the deadlock late on against Hungary, for example, while he regularly looked to set up chances for the forwards and linked up particularly well with Jota.
So, although CR7 once again carried much of the load for this Portuguese side, he certainly wasn't alone in the quest to defend the European Championship crown won in 2016!
Cristiano Ronaldo next game for Juventus is on August 1, against an unknown opponent. You can watch Juventus vs, Belgium vs Italy, Switzerland vs Spain, Ukraine vs England, Brazil vs Chile, and Czech Republic vs Denmark, all matches provided from our live soccer game pages.
Juventus next game:
Juventus vs ? kick-off time (01-08-2021):
Beijing (China) | UTC/GMT+8: 03:00
Jakarta (Indonesia) | UTC/GMT+7: 02:00
India (New Delhi) | UTC/GMT+5.30: 00:30
Italy (Turin) | UTC/GMT+2: 21:00
Spain (Madrid) | UTC/GMT+2: 21:00
Portugal and England (Lisbon/London) | UTC/GMT+1: 20:00
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) | UTC/GMT-3: 16:00
New York (United States) | UTC/GMT-4: 15:00
Los Angeles (United States) | UTC/GMT-7: 12:00
Sources: ronaldo7.net / uefa.com / nytimes.com / espn.com