“What is he trying to achieve?”
Cristiano Ronaldo is good at football. So much so that’s it’s hard, even for the most militant of Lionel Messi ultras, to pick too many holes in his performances.
Now aged 36, he’s started Euro 2020 with three goals and an assist in just two games. You wouldn’t back against him playing a key role if his Portugal side go on and defend the title they won in France five years ago.
He did, however, suffer a setback on Saturday, as he and his teammates were defeated 4-2 by Germany in Munich.
Ronaldo had opened the scoring in the Group F clash, albeit against the run of play, and – in a throwback to the kind of needless showboating that was synonymous with the early years of his career – decided it was time to enjoy himself a bit.
Shortly after his goal, footage of him bamboozling Antonio Rudiger with some kind of no-look backheel flick thingy was being shared high and wide across Twitter.
A little pointless, perhaps, but nothing to get too upset about.
Dietmar Hamman, however, was having none of it. On punditry duty for RTE, the former Liverpool midfielder described the move as “nonsense”, adding that it would have only fired up the Germans.
— palabutung (@rachmatt23) June 19, 2021
“I think it’s nonsense,” he said after the game. “He flicks the ball over, pretends he is going to catch it and backheels it across, and looks away… of course it is [amazing] and we know he can do that… I think, in a way he’s belittling the opposition.”
“This is at 1-0 and I’m sitting here while you [the rest of RTE’s studio] all rave about it,” he continued. “Yes, he is the best, with Messi… He looks a fool now. This is 1-0. He does look the fool.
“If you ask the German players, they’ll tell you now what they thought of it. They would have noticed that. I tell you now, all of them will say it may have given us an extra bit of whatever to change things.”