The consequences of Portugal’s dependency on Cristiano Ronaldo

COST, Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal, Reliance

Cristiano Ronaldo’s journey in Euro 2024 ended in disappointment, with Portugal falling short against France. As he stood with his teammates after the match, embracing Pepe and acknowledging the crowd, Ronaldo appeared like any other player, not the GOAT candidate he is often hailed as. This raises questions about whether the relentless focus on Ronaldo’s performance hindered Portugal’s chance of success in the tournament.

The statistics paint a stark picture of Ronaldo’s struggles in front of goal. Despite numerous attempts, he failed to score in the tournament, recording a high expected goals figure without finding the net. Perhaps Portugal coach Roberto Martinez was too fixated on Ronaldo’s past successes and overlooked the signs of fatigue and decreased effectiveness on the field.

At 41 years old, Pepe’s emotional farewell highlighted the passage of time for Portugal’s veterans. It may have been wise for Martinez to rotate Ronaldo out of the lineup at times, allowing younger players like Gonçalo Ramos or Diogo Jota to make an impact. The relentless pursuit of glory for Ronaldo seemed to overshadow the team’s collective effort, leading to Portugal’s elimination on penalties.

In the end, Ronaldo’s legacy is already cemented in football history. The focus should have been on utilizing the entire squad’s talents effectively, rather than relying solely on one player. If Martinez had recognized this sooner, perhaps Portugal’s Euro 2024 journey would have ended differently.

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