Cristiano Ronaldo, often considered one of the best football players in the world, proved to be an asset for Portugal in the 2020 UEFA European Football Championship, popularly known as the Euros. The tournament held from 11 June to 11 July 2021 saw 24 teams compete in 51 matches to win the coveted trophy. Ronaldo’s performance throughout the tournament was strong, but it also highlighted some of his weaknesses.
One of Ronaldo’s weaknesses is his inability to influence the game from deep positions. Ronaldo is a forward who stays in attacking positions, posing a threat to the opposition goalkeeper and defenders, but he struggled to get involved in the build-up play. In Portugal’s first game against Hungary, Ronaldo, despite scoring two late goals, struggled during the game as he failed to provide any creative input to his teammates. He was similarly subdued in the Round of 16 match against Belgium, which Portugal lost 1-0.
In the second game, Ronaldo was very effective as he scored two goals against Germany, but there was a noticeable absence of his contributions when Portugal lost to Belgium. He was not able to create as much space as he normally does, and the lack of interaction with fellow seniors was felt. Ronaldo also missed a vital penalty in the last group game against France, which ended in a 2-2 draw.
Another weakness of Ronaldo that was apparent in the Euros is that he tends to give up the opportunity to help his teammates score when he is in a better position to score himself. This was evident in the quarterfinals match against Belgium, when Ronaldo received the ball in the box, but instead of passing it to Bernardo Silva, who had more space and a better shot, he shot himself and got blocked by a Belgian defender. This lack of cooperation restricts his team’s ability to score more goals, and ultimately impacts their chances of winning games.
Ronaldo’s performance in the Euros also revealed his lack of teamwork and how he sometimes puts his individual performance above the team. Although he finished as the tournament’s top scorer with five goals, his team was eliminated in the Round of 16, a result that was certainly disappointing. Ronaldo’s lack of cohesion with his teammates, often seen as him trying to take on too much responsibility, did not help Portugal’s chances.
Finally, Ronaldo’s age is catching up with him, and he can no longer keep up with the pace of younger players. His speed and agility have reduced, making it easier for defenders to contain him. While his experience and qualities on the field cannot be ignored, it is vital to note that his physical abilities are dwindling, and he needs to adapt his playing style to suit his current capabilities.
In conclusion, Ronaldo’s performance in the Euros highlighted some of his weaknesses, which ultimately affected his team’s chances of winning the tournament. These weaknesses included his inability to influence the game from deep positions, his tendency to prioritize personal performance over teamwork, and his declining physical abilities. However, his excellent goal-scoring form and the unique personality of an incredible footballer are still to be commended. Nonetheless, Ronaldo must work to improve his weaknesses and adapt his playing style if Portugal is to have any chance of success in future tournaments.