Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Cristiano Ronaldo future: ‘No decision’ made on striker or Pepe’s Portugal future

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Ronaldo has endured a difficult tournament, with his place in the side constantly questioned as he failed to score in any of his five appearances.

The former Manchester United and Real Madrid forward was left in tears after missing an extra-time penalty after Slovenia – although he made amends by scoring in the shootout as Portugal went through.

But he again cut a frustrated figure during the defeat by France – and now there are doubts over whether he will play for his country again.

“They probably know it’s the end of the line in the national team, perhaps. Where do you go from here?” former Portugal defender Jose Fonte told BBC Sport.

“They’ve achieved so much, they’ve done so much for Portugal, sometimes you just have to give your place to the young boys coming up and let them show their talent.”

Ronaldo’s stats at Euro 2024 do not make for good reading.

  • It is the first time Ronaldo has failed to score at a major international – with Euro 2024 his 11th.

  • He has not scored in open play at a major tournament since the group stage of the last Euros in 2021.

  • He had 23 shots in Portugal’s five games at Euro 2024 – more than any other player – and failed to score.

  • His expected goals across all fives games is 0.692

Despite his struggles in front of goal manager Martinez has resisted the urge to drop him to the bench.

BBC Sport pundit Chris Sutton says Martinez has an “obsession” with Ronaldo and shows a “lack of imagination” by keeping him on.

Ronaldo is managing the team and Martinez isn’t when you have options like they do on the bench – he is hampering them,” said Sutton.

Danny Murphy added: “It does seem ridiculous at times that he keeps Ronaldo on when he is having no impact.”

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