In yesterday’s Euro 2024 qualification fixture, Portugal faced Slovakia, and while they emerged victorious with a narrow 1-0 win, it was a match that revealed a telling story about Cristiano Ronaldo’s current role in the Portuguese team.
The victory was secured through Bruno Fernandes’ crucial goal, with an assist from the ever-reliable Bernardo Silva. However, what stood out was Cristiano Ronaldo’s lackluster performance on the pitch. The veteran forward, who has been a talismanic figure for Portugal for over a decade, failed to find the back of the net and struggled to make a significant impact on the game.
Ronaldo’s struggles weren’t limited to his inability to score; he also received a yellow card in the second half of the match, highlighting a growing frustration that seemed to plague his performance. This is not the Ronaldo fans have come to know, a player who not only scores crucial goals but also leads by example on the field.
As the match unfolded, it became increasingly evident that Ronaldo may no longer be the force he once was for Portugal. At 38 years old, it’s natural for a player’s performance to decline, but Ronaldo’s status as one of the greatest footballers of all time has always defied age. However, yesterday’s display raised concerns about his ability to continue delivering at the highest level.
Portugal’s victory may have extended their lead at the top of their group table, but it also raised questions about their reliance on Ronaldo. It’s time for the Portuguese national team to consider transitioning to a new era, one where they rely less on their aging superstar and look to develop the next generation of talent to ensure sustained success.