Chris Sutton destroys Portugal boss Roberto Martinez with brutal Cristiano Ronaldo claim

Chris Sutton destroys Portugal boss Roberto Martinez with brutal Cristiano Ronaldo claim

Cristiano Ronaldo has featured heavily in every Portugal game at the Euros thus far with Roberto Martinez copping criticism for sticking by the forward, who still wields huge influence

Cristiano Ronaldo has had a below par tournament thus far

Cristiano Ronaldo has had a below par tournament thus far (
Image: AFP via Getty Images)

Chris Sutton claims Portugal boss Roberto Martinez “lacks the backbone” to drop Cristiano Ronaldo at the Euros.

The 39-year-old frontman has continued to lead the line for his country throughout the tournament as they prepare for a last eight clash against France. Ronaldo has been Portugal’s main man for the best part of two decades but is not at the level he once was.

He was largely ineffective as Portugal were stunned by Georgia, missed an extra-time penalty against Slovenia and has set unwanted records for efforts on goal. Martinez though, despite the wealth of options available to him, has opted to stick by Ronaldo.

Sutton has joked that the five-time Ballon d’Or winner might as well manage his nation such is his influence and has reminded Martinez that he must make bold decisions for the good of the group.

He wrote in the Daily Mail : “But really, I’m looking at Roberto Martinez, someone with such a lack of backbone that I’m surprised he’s standing up straight in the technical area. He almost seems scared to axe Ronaldo, who might as well be named Portugal’s manager with the amount of carte blanche he is being gifted in Germany.

“Eventually, a manager must realise when a player is not benefiting the team, no matter who it is. You have to be brave enough to make difficult decisions without worrying whom you might upset.”

Ronaldo is yet to score at the current Euros – which is the sixth of his career and likely his last. He does hold the record for the most Euro goals of all-time but has struggled to influence proceedings thus far in Germany ahead of the team’s toughest test.

Roberto Martinez has stuck by the forward despite some suggesting the team would benefit more without him
Roberto Martinez has stuck by the forward despite some suggesting the team would benefit more without him 
Image:
PA)


They meandered past Slovenia, eventually needing penalties after a goalless 120 minutes. Sutton claimed Ronaldo put in “a performance shrouded in selfishness, becoming more embarrassing every time he fluffed a free-kick while Bruno Fernandes stood idly by. ”

Ronaldo seemingly has first refusal on free-kicks and penalties despite having a questionable record when it comes to the former. “Overall he was more of a hindrance to the team than a help, and that is being enabled by the puppet that is Martinez,” added Sutton.

At the World Cup in Qatar former manager Fernando Santos famously bench Ronaldo for a last 16 clash with his replacement, Goncalo Ramos, scoring a hat-trick in a dominant win.

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