Not that the footballing community needed any further evidence to support their case, but Ronaldo’s petulant display following his side’s disappointing draw with Iceland, convincingly confirmed: Ronaldo is a sore loser. But Kari Arnason went one step further with his post-match comments, securing his status as a Barcelona cult hero overnight with a scathing attack on the Madrid forward.
Even in Iceland’s finest hour of football in their entire history, Ronaldo’s desire to bask in the limelight overrides any other narrative that may be weaved on an evening of European football. But the Portuguese icon was making headlines for all the wrong reasons, playing a major role in supplying Iceland’s memorable performance.
Ronaldo’s miss. pic.twitter.com/6Jzcpr8Tx9
— UEFA EURO CUP 2016 (@EuroCupLive) June 14, 2016
An uncharacteristic miss just five minutes from time, heading fellow ex-utd man, Nani’s cross straight at goalkeeper Hannes Halldorsson, not only prevented the Ronaldo from making history as the first player to score in four consecutive Euros, but it signalled the start of racous celebrations amongst the Icelandics in the crowd. Witnessing the back-page headlines fade before his very eyes, Ronaldo took to the post-match conference to reaffirm his double-page spread
“Iceland didn’t try anything,
“They were just defend, defend, defend and playing on the counterattack. It was a lucky night for them. We should have three points but we are OK. I thought they’d won the Euros the way they celebrated at the end. It was unbelievable.
“When they don’t try to play and just defend, defend, defend, this in my opinion shows a small mentality and they are not going to do anything in the competition.”
As desperate as Ronaldo was to secure himself ‘legendary’ status as a Portugal record breaker, it was Iceland hero Kari Arnason who became a Barcelona legend, hitting back at “sore loser” Ronaldo with some cutting remarks that couldn’t have been phrased better by even the most passionate Catalan.
Arnason not only marked Ronaldo out of the game in Saint-Etienne, he responded emphatically to the Portugal captain’s complaints that Iceland possessed a “small mentality” following their 1-1 draw – he didn’t hold back:
“He’s just a sore loser,
“He didn’t want to lose the game. What does he expect – for us to play like Barcelona against him? He fannies about and dives around.
“Obviously we were the underdog, we played like the underdog and we were unlucky not to win the game.”
“We didn’t pay any extra attention to him,
“Obviously everyone knows how good he is so you have to know where he is at every given moment but there was nothing in our game plan to specifically close him down.
“We just knew we had to be close to him at every given moment and it worked perfectly.”
Though he might be plying his trade in the less-competitive standard of the Swedish league with Malmö FF, Arnason displayed the two qualities needed to become a legendary Barcelona full-back last night: the ability to keep Ronaldo in your pocket and a sharp tongue to bring any Madrid fanboys to their knees.