Cristiano Ronaldo is greatly disappointed in his side’s early World Cup exit and recently he referred to his feelings following that knockout loss to Spain as “broken” and elaborated further by saying that he was “frustrated” and currently in a state of “unimaginable sadness.”
And the Portugal star and world’s highest paid footballer has every right to feel terrible about his country’s World Cup result. Ronaldo has only scored one single goal for his international side in the last two years of action. And the lone goal he has scored over that dreadful span was an unimportant one at the end of that 7-0 routing to North Korea in what would turn about to be the side’s only victory of the tournament.
So with a cold streak that long and the fact that Portugal barely made the tournament in the first place why was anyone expecting the superstar to out battle teams as good as Spain and Brazil?
The answer is simple, it’s because the best players in the world are given unfair expectations all the time. Sure Portugal’s roster is nowhere near as talented as Real Madrid’s, but as far as international rosters go it is certainly way above average and it is in fact ranked as the third best in the world heading into the tournament. And following that routing of North Korea many thought that Ronaldo’s side was primed for a knockout round upset victory, but there was one little problem. They would have to face a defense much better than the lowly North Koreans.
Ronaldo refused to speak at a press conference following the match, but did offer this bit of controversial information to a TV crew that was along the sidelines of the pitch:
How can I explain it (the defeat). Ask the question of Carlos Queiroz (the manager).
Ronaldo received tons of criticism for the remark back in Portugal and days later he made a public statement accepting some of the responsibility for the loss as the team captain and he even claimed that he only questioned his coach because of the manager’s upcoming postgame press conference and not for his tactics he used in the Cup.
Anyway that you break the statement down it was a really bad thing to say and it was generally a bad year for one of the world’s finest players. He wasn’t the only star player that struggled on the big stage this summer: Wayne Rooney, Samuel Eto’o, the entire French national team, etc…
But then again when you are forced into playing Brazil and Spain in the first two rounds (and Barca in La Liga) the odds of having a disappointing summer go through the roof!
photo credit: Paolo Camera