Cristiano Ronaldo Fan Club

Cristiano Ronaldo Fan Club
Cristiano Ronaldo Fan Club
Cristiano Ronaldo is a Portuguese football player who currently plays for Real Madrid. He plays as a left or right winger and is one of the highest rated football stars in the world.He is also an important player in the Portuguese National team.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Cristiano Ronaldo isn't making any friends

Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo gestures during the Euro 2012 championships football match Denmark vs Portugal on June 13, 2012 at the Arena Lviv.
Photograph by: DAMIEN MEYER, AFP/GettyImages

While we are all keeping our eye firmly on the ball during Euro 2012, we are missing the little nuances that make a tournament like this so intriguing.

I am not in Poland or Ukraine, but I am glued to my television for five hours a day and loving it. When not watching, I have been scouring media reports from around the world for snippets that may be of surprising importance to what happens on the field.

EGO MAN: We all know Cristiano Ronaldo is among the very best goal scorers, and if we didn't know it before, we saw on the pitch in Portugal's defeat by Germany last week that his opinion of himself can tear a team apart. When that game ended, the Real Madrid star stomped off the field almost on the double. The fans made it clear they hated that.

They couldn't have liked the frequent disgusted arm gestures from Ronaldo when the ball didn't come to him the way he wanted it or a teammate made an error.

Coach Paulo Bento then had to strenuously deny allegations his captain pulled out of training on Monday. These are unnecessary distractions when your team is threatened with elimination from the tournament, and Portugal was fortunate to eke out a 3-2 win over Denmark on Wednesday.

Maybe Ronaldo was the only one badly distracted. He missed three sitters in that game.

CAPTAIN CRANKY: Zlatan Ibrahimovic is the star of the Swedish show and has been for years, but I wonder what good he was doing to morale when reports emerged that he berated teammates for waving to their wives and girlfriends in the cool down after the surprise 2-1 defeat by Ukraine. So what? Then we hear he began to complain about coach Erik Hamren playing Markus Rosenberg in attack with him rather than his favourite partner, Johan Elmander. Was he trying to bully the boss or simply frustrated?

After that, reports surfaced about the bare bum training incident: The team was playing keep-up, where they stand in a circle and volley the ball from one to the other. It appears reserve goalkeeper Johan Wiland misplayed his volley and, for his pains, had to pull down his shorts and his colleague took shots at him. Not sure if this was stress-reducing team building or bullying.

With Sweden meeting England in a must-win game Friday, however, its fans must be hoping the players don't make asses of themselves.

SAMIR SHUT UP: Anyone watching the 1-1 France-England draw on Monday will have noticed Samir Nasri putting his finger to his lips after scoring the equalizer and then mouthing something toward the touchline. Turns out he was shouting "shut your face" toward a journalist from L'Equipe, the French sports newspaper, who had been criticizing him.

He now admits this was an ill-advised, spur-of-the-moment reaction, but, in true Nasri fashion, he refused to apologize more than to say he was "clumsy" and that his mother is ill and doesn't like reading that her son is "rubbish." These are stressful times for players.

INTOLERABLE, ANTONIO: It's tough enough playing under huge pressure, but when one of your squad members uses a Euro news conference to take a shot at gay players, you have to wonder where his head is. Often-outspoken Italian striker Antonio Cassano was asked about reports that there are two "secret" gay players on the Italian squad. His response? "That's their problem. I hope there isn't one in the national team."

No surprise that he later apologized through the Italian news agency ANSA. He said he was "sincerely sorry my comments have caused controversy and protests among gay people. I didn't want to offend anyone and I absolutely don't want to put a person's sexual freedom under discussion."

WHAT A WET EXCUSE: When you are the master of the passing game and a world champion but cannot score the goals needed to win, you should stop coming up with lame excuses. Spain tied Italy 1-1 on Sunday and promptly blamed the pitch. Coach Vicente del Bosque and his players said it hadn't been watered enough.

The claim was that the Spaniards' quick, one-touch passing was made more difficult on a dry pitch, and that it was better suited to the Italians, who apparently were perfectly satisfied with the playing surface. UEFA said it waters pitches as much as possible before a game, but only to the point before extra water could cause damage. Perfectly fair system, it would seem.

THE WEDNESDAY GAME WRAP: We had a couple of nail-biters in Group B and both turned out to be thrillers. Portugal was in a tough spot after losing to Germany in its first match, so it needed a special day against Denmark. Ronaldo, the man you might expect to lead the way, faltered as he missed a bunch of chances he would normally bury.

The Portuguese must have believed they were on a good day with goals from Pepe and Helder Postiga in the opening 36 minutes. However, Nichlas Bendtner, Denmark's sole striker, pulled one back with a 41st-minute header. That set the tone for a frenetic second half and Bendtner squared the game with eight minutes to go with a second header after being left unmarked in the penalty box.

So Silvestre Varela was brought on for Portugal. He had been there for just three minutes when he unleashed a screaming shot that gave his country a 3-2 win and the points to keep its hopes alive. The second game was another must-win, this time for the Netherlands, which had opened with a 1-0 defeat to Denmark.

It was never to be, in spite of a spirited effort in a free-flowing game. Germany started strong and, after 38 minutes, it was two goals up, both scored by Mario Gomez and both wonderful strikes. For the first, Gomez took a through ball, spun 180 degrees in full flight and slid it home. For the second, he raced into the penalty area and fired a powerful effort across the face of the goal into the far corner of the net. Two goals from a player in confident mood.

The Dutch kept pushing forward and gave themselves a chance when Robin van Persie, who had been out of touch until that moment, produced a power turn and a power shot to pull one goal back. Seventy-two minutes had gone. The men in orange, who desperately threw themselves forward, couldn't find an equalizer in the final 18 minutes. They left the field looking despondent.

It is a result that leaves the Netherlands in serious danger of elimination. Germany is virtually assured of a quarter-final place, but both Portugal and Denmark have three points while the Netherlands has none. It looks as if second place will be decided on goal differential, with the Netherlands a distinct underdog.

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