Cristiano Ronaldo Under Fire: Portuguese Media Demand to Bench their Captain for France Match

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Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal’s talisman and all-time leading goal-scorer, is facing severe criticism from the Portuguese media following his average performance at EURO 2024. Despite Portugal’s dramatic penalty shootout victory over Slovenia, which secured their place in the semifinals, Ronaldo’s lackluster display has not gone unnoticed. Publico, a prominent Portuguese publication, has been particularly harsh, rating Ronaldo’s performance a mere 4/10 and urging for his benching in the upcoming quarterfinal clash against France.

During the tense match against Slovenia, Ronaldo missed a crucial penalty in extra time, saved by Jan Oblak, which left the captain visibly distraught. His emotional outburst on the field underscored the pressure he is under. Publico’s scathing review highlighted Ronaldo’s poor decision-making, inaccurate finishing, and overall decline in form. The publication criticized his inability to attack space, explore depth, and deliver in front of goal, questioning whether his current form benefits the team.

The media’s call for Ronaldo to be benched is rooted in their belief that his presence might hinder Portugal’s chances against France, especially against a formidable opponent led by Kylian Mbappe. The criticism extends beyond his missed penalty, noting his frequent time on the ground, low success rate in free kicks, and poor passing decisions. The debate surrounding Ronaldo’s place in the starting lineup has intensified, with many arguing that his past glory does not justify his current performance levels.

Despite the harsh criticism, Ronaldo remained philosophical about his performance and the team’s success. He acknowledged his struggles and expressed mixed emotions after the match, praising his teammates for their extraordinary effort. Diogo Costa’s heroics in the penalty shootout, saving three consecutive attempts, played a crucial role in Portugal’s advancement. As Portugal prepares to face France, the nation is divided over whether their iconic captain should lead them on the field or support from the sidelines.