Thursday, 16 June 2016

Why Ronaldo was wrong to criticize Iceland's celebration of 1-1 draw

Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo ridiculed Iceland’s celebrations following an improbable 1-1 draw on Tuesday.
“I thought they'd won the Euros the way they celebrated at the end, it was unbelievable," he said.
“When they don't try to play and just defend, defend, defend this, in my opinion, shows a small mentality," he added, "and they are not going to do anything in the competition.”
Ronaldo just doesn’t get it.

Euro 2016 is the first major competition for Iceland, and Tuesday featured the country’s first-ever goal in the European Championships. Stealing a point and a draw after being down a goal and thoroughly outplayed by one of the heavyweights of European football deserved celebrations. To finally arrive on the world stage in 2016 and salvage a draw against Ronaldo, who makes more money than Iceland’s entire squad combined, was worth celebrating. To keep CR7 off the score sheet deserved singing and dancing.
Iceland is happy to be in France, and reports suggest eight percent of the country has travelled to witness the national team perform at the Euros. To avoid a loss on such a stage and under such immense pressure may as well count as winning the European Championships for the island nation. However, the celebrations and belittling comments should not hide the fact that Iceland is capable of advancing past the group stage and is in decent position to do just that.
Getting a 1-1 draw against Portugal meant that a victory over Austria or Hungary in the remaining two group games should be enough to secure passage to the round of 16. So, while a disappointed Ronaldo failed to understand the gravity of what the result meant for Iceland, the fans in the stands and players on the pitch had a right to celebrate the draw. Portugal is considered the strongest side in the group, and Iceland survived its toughest test yet in Group F.
And it wasn’t entirely a fluke, either.
Iceland finished second in its qualification group, ahead of Turkey and Netherlands. In fact, the tiny nation with a total population of about 330,000 beat the Netherlands twice and essentially took the place of the Dutch, who have a rich footballing tradition and superstar players in