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Iceland hit back at Cristiano Ronaldo for 'sore loser' comments


It must be hard being Cristiano Ronaldo.

Fresh from doing absolutely nothing in the Champions League final but lapping up the adulation for putting away the winning penalty in the shoot-out anyway, he was less than happy after his Portugal team were held to a 1-1 draw by minnows Iceland in their opening Euro 2016 fixture.

Portugal had looked set for a win after taking a lead in the 31st minute through Nani, but Birkir Bjarnason sent the small island nation into rapture when he equalised early in the second half, with Iceland holding on to take a point from their first-ever appearance in a major championship finals.

Iceland boasts a population of just 330,000, have no professional clubs, and had to outqualify the Netherlands to reach Euro 2016. An incredible 10 per cent of their population were at the match in Saint-Etienne.

Nonetheless, Ronaldo, who hit two late free kicks straight into the wall, was far from magnanimous after the final whistle, refusing to shake the hands of the Icelandic players.

"I thought they'd won the Euros the way they celebrated at the end," he said. "It was unbelievable. We tried hard to win the game and Iceland didn't try anything. This, in my opinion, shows a small mentality and they are not going to do anything in the competition."

He added that it had been a "lucky night" for his opponents and said they had put "the bus in the net".

"Portugal try to play football and try to win the game," he continued. "Iceland didn't try anything. They were just defend, defend, defend and playing on the counter-attack."

Ouch. Small mentality? Clearly CR7 has forgotten all those times he’s had to spend ninety minutes camped inside his own half for Real Madrid whenever they meet the free-flowing giants of Barcelona. It also shouldn't take a genius to suss these comments as one big attempt of deflecting from not just his team’s wobbly display but his own.

Regularly found dancing around on the edge of the box with those twinkly feet but causing little threat within it, Ronaldo's best chance for glory arrived five minutes from time, heading Nani’s cross right into goalkeeper Hannes Halldorsson, which prevented the Madrid man from making history as the first player to score in four consecutive Euros. It was also of course the moment Iceland started to believe they could get a result.

While Portugal did have 72 per cent of possession, and 26 shots to Iceland's 4, the minnows were far from lucky, as Gylfi Sigurdsson and Alfred Finnbogason could both have converted chances.

And Iceland hero Kari Arnason has not been slow to hit back, saying “He’s just a sore loser. He didn’t want to lose the game. What does he expect - for us to play like Barcelona against him? He fannies about and dives around. Obviously we were the underdog, we played like the underdog and we were unlucky not to win the game.”

He continued, “It’s amazing. I mean we knew we could do it. I think we were a bit unlucky not to steal the win at the end with [Alfred] Finnbogason’s chance. The second half played into our hands. We didn’t have the ball much, obviously, but we were solid and we can always catch people on the counter. There’s not many people who want to play against our forwards in the form they were in today.”

Good for you Kari, you absolute legend. Ronnie, perhaps you should calm down by listening to some music...



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