It’s not often you hear someone claim Cristiano Ronaldo is a problem for his team. However, Euro 2024 has elicited different reactions from fans worldwide. The Portuguese skipper has failed to make the most of his starts for Portugal this summer. The game against Slovenia would have been game over for Portugal if Diogo Costa had not stepped up to the plate after Cristiano missed a crucial penalty.

Former soccer star Steve Nicol ripped into Cristiano during his appearance on ESPN stating, “He’s taking them because he says he’s taking them. Roberto Martinez wouldn’t say no to him. If you can have taken 34 freekicks and you haven’t scored so yeah. The problem that Portugal and Roberto Martinez have is Ronaldo is held in so much esteem that nobody wants to be the one to say no. “


Article continues below this ad

He added, “That’s a fact. Nobody wants to say no to this guy, and it’s going to be down to Ronaldo. Surely he was to look at what’s going on, realize he is not going to score a freekick, put his ego aside, and do what’s the best for the team.”

While it’s understandable to see from Steve Nicol’s perspective, Cristiano Ronaldo has been Mr. Clutch for his nation on multiple occasions. In fact, CR7 finished as Portugal’s top scorer during the Euro Qualifiers earlier this year. Fans will hope the performances leading to the quarterfinals are just a rough patch. If Cristiano cannot shrug it off, his team could be in for a dreadful night against France in their upcoming clash.

Does Roberto Martinez need to bench Cristiano Ronaldo?

Things haven’t worked out for Portugal with Cristiano Ronaldo at the helm. The striker has failed to put on respectable numbers for his team, with the Portuguese skipper still looking for his first goal in the competition. Fans are questioning manager Roberto Martinez for continuing to stick with the veteran despite his inability to help the team in the attacking third. It’s not like Portugal has a dearth of players in the number nine position.

Both Francesco Conceicao and Goncalo Ramos have been waiting for their chance as Cristiano Ronaldo continues to start for Portugal. The pair had an impressive run recently concluded season of Liga Portugal and it would be a big dis-service to their talents if they cannot make a cut into the team. Do you think Roberto Martinez needs to bench Cristiano Ronaldo to give younger talent a chance? Sound off in the comments below.