Saint-Etienne (France), June 15 : Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo has criticised the celebrations by Iceland players following the teams’ 1-1 draw in their Group F match of the Euro Cup football tournament here.
Portugal took the lead through Nani in the 31st minute, but Birkir Bjarnason restored parity for Iceland in the second half at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard here on Tuesday evening. Iceland are appearing in their first ever major tournament, and their players and fans celebrated wildly after the match.
“The way they celebrated at the end was unbelievable. Iceland don’t try to play, they just defend, defend and defend. Then they celebrate like they have won the Euros. This in my opinion shows a small mentality. They are not going to do anything in this competition,” Ronaldo told the media after the match.
“It was a little bit frustrating. We tried hard to win the game, Iceland didn’t try anything. They scored a goal, they created a couple of chances in the 90 minutes but otherwise they got every player behind the ball. They parked a bus in the net. It was a lucky night for them,” the Real Madrid star added.
“It is difficult when one team doesn’t even try but Portugal try to play football and we try to win every game. We are 100 per cent confident we will win our next one.”
Ronaldo’s comments were criticised by Iceland’s co-manager Heimir Hallgrimsson, who asserted that taking a point off Portugal is comparable to beating mighty Holland in the Euro Cup qualifiers, widely hailed as one of the finest moments in the football history of the tiny island nation.
“This was probably about the same as the win against the Netherlands. So many things are happening for the first time for Icelandic football,” he said.
“This was our first time on this stage and it was fantastic, it was just like playing at home because our fans were unbelievable and that made us feel better when we were tired towards the end. It is another milestone for Icelandic football.”