Ronaldo criticises Iceland’s ‘small mentality’

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Portugal 1-1 Iceland highlights

Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo hit out at Iceland’s lack of ambition after the two sides drew 1-1 at Euro 2016.

The Real Madrid player also refused to shake the hands of the Iceland players after the group match in Saint-Etienne.

“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.”

But former Iceland international Hermann Hreidarsson called Ronaldo “petty” and a “sore loser”.

The former Ipswich, Charlton and Portsmouth defender, 41, told BBC Radio 5 live: “He thought he could have goals handed to him on a plate.

“If he would have worked as hard as every Icelandic player, he wouldn’t have had to say anything because I’m sure he would have got his rewards.

“He didn’t fancy it on the day and he just got beaten up.”

Ronaldo, making his 127th appearance for Portugal, said it had been a “lucky night” for his opponents and accused them of putting “the bus in the net”.

Portugal had 72% of the possession and 26 shots on goal to Iceland’s four.


Ronaldo spurned a great chance to secure victory for Portugal

“Portugal try to play football and try to win the game,” said skipper Ronaldo, 31. “Iceland didn’t try anything.

“They were just defend, defend, defend and playing on the counter-attack.”

Ronaldo’s words have drawn plenty of comment on social media.

DunsbyOwl tweeted: “Great Result for Iceland. Shame Ronaldo couldn’t show a bit of magnanimity.”

Paul said: “Just when Ronaldo was winning the footballing world over with his talent, he opens his mouth again…”

AndyG added: “Cristiano Ronaldo has just reminded me of all the reason why I just can’t like the bloke. Still recall his wink after Rooney’s Euro red card.”

Iceland, appearing in their first major tournament, boast a population of just 330,000 and are the smallest nation to play at a European Championship finals.

They finished second in their qualifying group, above Turkey and the Netherlands, who failed to make it to France.

Birkir Bjarnason’s volley earned them a point against Portugal after Nani had opened the scoring in the Group F game in Saint-Etienne.

Hungary top the pool after beating Austria 2-0 earlier on Tuesday.

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