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Euro 2016: Cristiano Ronaldo infuriates Twitter after branding Iceland a 'small mentality' team after draw with Portugal

Ronaldo criticised Iceland for defending too much after they secured a 1-1 draw against Portugal

Jack de Menezes
Wednesday 15 June 2016 08:06 BST
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Cristiano Ronaldo has been criticised for his comments after Portugal's 1-1 draw with Iceland
Cristiano Ronaldo has been criticised for his comments after Portugal's 1-1 draw with Iceland (Getty)

When things don’t go Cristiano Ronaldo’s way, the toys come out of the pram. It’s a known fact in the football world that the current Ballon d’Or holder wants to be the centre of attention at all times, especially when it comes to winning matches on the pitch.

Ask his Real Madrid team-mates and they’ll mention his two penalties to help win two Champions League titles, or how he took Portugal in 2004 to within a whisker of winning the European Championship on home soil.

Now, you can ask Iceland, who saw first-hand what Ronaldo can be like when he doesn’t get his own way. After securing a sensational 1-1 draw with Portugal in the Euro 2016 Group F opener, Iceland had reason to celebrate.

Yet Ronaldo could not deal with the fact that Portugal had failed to beat a European minnow, and he turned on his opponents to accuse them of having a “small mentality” for “celebrating like they had won the Euros”.

Ronaldo also claimed that it was this “small mentality” that means Iceland will not win the European Championship this year.

“The way they celebrated at the end was unbelievable,” he said. “Iceland don’t try to play, they just defend, defend and defend. Then they celebrate like they have won the Euros. This in my opinion shows a small mentality. They are not going to do anything in this competition.

“It was a little bit frustrating,” Ronaldo added. “We tried hard to win the game, Iceland didn’t try anything. They scored a goal, they created a couple of chances in the 90 minutes but otherwise they got every player behind the ball. They parked a bus in the net. It was a lucky night for them.

“It is difficult when one team doesn’t even try but Portugal try to play football and we try to win every game. We are 100 per cent confident we will win our next one.”

Now it doesn’t take a scientist to work out that an island with a recorded population of little over 330,000 are going to have a smaller chance of unearthing world class players than, say, Portugal, which has a population of over 10m and has produced the likes of Ronaldo and Luis Figo – coincidentally the two most capped players in Portuguese history after Ronaldo matched the former Real Madrid and Barcelona midfielder on 127 caps on Tuesday night.

Predictably, Ronaldo’s quotes have not gone down well on social media.

Ronaldo will certainly hope for better fortunes when Portugal take on Austria in the second of their Group F encounters on Saturday, where a defeat could leave the Portuguese on the brink of an embarrassing group stage exit.

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