Cristiano Ronaldo finally found form for Portugal with his starring role in the 3-3 draw with Hungary, but Croatia will be in confident mood after finishing ahead of Spain in Group D — Lens (9 p.m. CET/3 p.m. ET, ESPN). h/t espnfc.com
Carlo Ancelotti has described Cristiano Ronaldo as a leader and someone who cares about the team following a series of incidents at the European Championship that have reflected badly on the Portugal captain.
After their opening game, a 1-1 draw with Iceland in which he failed to score, Ronaldo accused Portugal’s opponents of being “lucky” and “small” and his frustrations continued as he missed a penalty and had a goal ruled out for offside in the goalless draw with Austria.
Ahead of Portugal’s final Group F match against Hungary, a 3-3 draw in which Ronaldo opened his Euro 2016 account with two goals, the player took umbrage at a reporter’s line of questioning and threw his microphone into a lake.
But Ancelotti, who managed Ronaldo for two seasons at Real Madrid and won the club’s 10th European Cup with him, presented an alternative take on the 31-year-old in his column for the Daily Telegraph.
He said: “You see a different kind of Cristiano Ronaldo when you are the manager of his team. The rest of the world has become obsessed with the image and the look of the man, or how he celebrates when he scores, or how he reacts when things go wrong. I just saw a guy who always wanted to do his best. read more at espnfc.com
Joao Mario is confident in Portugal’s chances despite having less time to recover than Euro 2016 opponents Croatia.
Portugal midfielder Joao Mario insists a day’s less rest will make no difference in his side’s Euro 2016 clash against Croatia.
Fernando Santos’ men are backing up just three days after their draw with Hungary for a meeting with the Group D winners in Lens on Saturday.
While Croatia had an extra day of rest, Joao Mario said that would have no impact at the Stade Bollaert-Delelis.
“We know we haven’t much time to recover,” he told a news conference.
“It’s not ideal but we have to go onto the pitch and represent our country.
“In the knockout stage of a competition like this one, you always feel energised and I’m sure we’ll be ready.”
Portugal scraped through the group, drawing all three games against supposedly inferior opposition in Iceland, Austria and Hungary.