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Cristiano Ronaldo slammed by Portuguese press amid calls for him to be DROPPED for France clash

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Portuguese media think their captain should be dropped for the upcoming Euro 2024 clash with France.

Slovakia came within inches of a historic victory over Portugal on Monday night, losing a penalty shootout after drawing the match 0-0.

Cristiano Ronaldo struggled throughout the game, wasting several chances and missing a penalty in extra time which would have no doubt sealed the victory, leading to him breaking down in tears.

While he overcame his emotions and scored the opening penalty in the shootout, questions are being raised about the 39-year old’s goalscoring abilities having spent nearly 18 months playing in Saudi Arabia.

And the Portuguese media have had their say on their captain’s place in the team.

Handing Ronaldo a 4/10 rating, Portuguese newspaper Publico, via the Daily Mail, said: “Another poor performance from the captain. Just like in the last game – although less so – he spent a lot of time on the ground.

“Then he made poor decisions in finishing areas, poor passes in front of goal – he ruined some plays – and was inaccurate in finishing.

“Ronaldo doesn’t attack space, doesn’t explore depth, doesn’t offer football in front of goal and doesn’t finish like he did at other times in his career – and it’s debatable whether Ronaldo, in this form, is more of a virtue than a flaw for this team.

“What would have happened with Ronaldo coming off the bench, fresh and with the Slovenians exhausted? We’ll never know.”

With a host of attacking talent in the squad, some publications have called for the striker to be replaced by Liverpool’s Diogo Jota or Benfica’s Goncalo Ramos, who temporarily displaced Ronaldo at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Cristiano Ronaldo couldn't hold back the tears after missing a penalty in the 105th minute that could have sealed their Euro 2024 progression. (Image: Getty)

Cristiano Ronaldo couldn’t hold back the tears after missing a penalty in the 105th minute that could have sealed their Euro 2024 progression. (Image: Getty)

Portuguese publication A Bola said: ‘It is true that Jota isolated Ronaldo and it was he who suffered the penalty that CR7 would miss.

“But these changes, theoretically with the aim of creating numerical equality in Portugal’s attack with Slovenia’s defence, served to accentuate the image of a team that has not yet found its form and that seems to be showing signs of Cristiano Ronaldo’s anxiety.

“[It is] similar to what happened in the World Cup in Qatar, where CR7’s tears at the end of the game against Morocco were spread around the world.”

Portugal will face France in the quarterfinals on Friday night in Hamburg’s Volksparkstadion, with kick off at 8pm BST.

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