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HomeSports“You Ended Up Having A Charity Game For Ronaldo” - MLS Icon...

“You Ended Up Having A Charity Game For Ronaldo” – MLS Icon Alexi Lalas Blames Individual Behind Cristiano Ronaldo And Portugal Disappointment 

Roberto Martinez blasted for EURO 2024 exit

MLS icon Alexi Lalas has blamed Roberto Martinez’s handling of Cristiano Ronaldo for Portugal’s exit from Euro 2024. 

He believes that the manager was more concerned about getting the forward a goal in the tournament than giving others a fair chance.

On his Alexi Lalas’ State of the Union podcast, the MLS icon claimed that any other player not named Cristiano Ronaldo would have been benched by the manager for his performances in the first few games. 

He went on to further say that the manager ended up making the European tournament look like charity matches for the Al Nassr star and said: “When it comes to Portugal and Ronaldo in this tournament, they have no one to blame but themselves. And when I say ‘themselves’, ultimately it rests with Roberto Martinez. He made his bed and that bed was with Ronaldo in it. He leaned into it all tournament and propped him up at every chance he could get, including playing him in that third [group stage] game, trying to get him a goal.”

“If it was not a player called Cristiano Ronaldo, in any other circumstance, that player would’ve been taken off the field. Not necessarily because he’s not good, but strikers are there to serve a purpose. And obviously, the ultimate purpose is to score goals, or at the very least to be dangerous.”

Lalas continued: “Sometimes there also comes up a point where you need to mix it up, and you have other arsenal on the bench that you bring in. Maybe it’s a like-for-like, maybe it’s a different type of person up there. In this case, that wasn’t done. I don’t know if it was out of fear or out of respect or a combination of all of it.”

“What you ended up having in this tournament was a charity game set up for Ronaldo and that’s not even fair. This is a situation that Roberto Martinez created and Cristiano Ronaldo accepted and certainly didn’t do anything to change. Ultimately, it hurt Portugal.”

Cristiano Ronaldo did not score at Euro 2024 in normal and extra time. He missed a penalty in extra time vs Slovenia but managed to score in the shootout – which they won 3-0 thanks to heroics from Diogo Costa.

Cristiano Ronaldo yet to decide his Portugal future

Roberto Martinez has commented on the future of his star forward and stated that the former Real Madrid and Manchester United star was not thinking about it right now. He said (via ESPN): “It’s too soon and raw after the match to talk about that and there have been no individual decisions made.”

Cristiano Ronaldo has admitted that Euro 2024 was his final European tournament with the national side. He added that there was no plan to play in the Euro 2028, which will be co-hosted by the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland.

Sportskeeda

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