“Black Sheep”: Where did Ronaldo go against France?


Sergio Ramos may have “stolen” the international show, but the main result came from Portugal – which ended the campaign to defend the title with a weak response. Cristiano Ronaldo and his teammates could not beat the world champion France, and suffered a small 1-0 that decided their fate in the League of Nations. Dadia Deschamps and his trainees, however, will begin preparations for the semifinals.

First, the numbers: The French, devoid of Killian Ambape, met Roy Patricio at the Portuguese goal after 558 minutes without an absorption. If that was not enough, on the offensive side they met Ronaldo who is in great shape and seven goals away from the peak of conquests in the international uniform. And yet, a single goal from Angulo Canta and an iron defense over the Portuguese star – who completed a sixth game without a conquest against France, the team he met most of all and the unit in front of him failed to conquer – did the job.

As a result, Portugal called the French team Ronaldo’s ‘black sheep’ and the networks, of course, have already made a comparison between him and Messi. The Flea, by comparison, scored 14 goals and cooked up 4 more in 29 appearances against the various Oum Champions. Ronaldo, on the other hand, “settled” with 4 goals and 0 assists in 27 appearances.

“France was excellent in every aspect of the evening,” analyzed the League of Nations commentators. “It was a tactical victory for Deschamps, with Canta and Rabio excelling in midfield. France have proved they can win a big game without Ambape.”

“Given the quality of the opponent,” added French coach Didier Deschamps, “this is one of our best performances lately. Everyone has shown and proved to be competitive, the victory has come to us and we have achieved our goal. I am proud of the players, they have proven France is still a great team.” Rafael Varane, the striker of France and Real Madrid, added: “This is the best game we have played in recent months. We have seen a lot of good things in terms of our attacking game and the way we have defended. We can be proud.”

On the other hand, the spirits sounded much more disappointed. “I do not know what happened in the first part,” Portugal coach Fernando Santos said at the conclusion. “It’s not what I expected, but it’s my responsibility. There’s no need to shoot darts at the team. It was a tough game, France were better in the first half, we couldn’t play and connect dedication. Without the ball, obviously harder. We pushed back, we couldn’t find solutions.”

“In the second half we got into the game better,” the Portugal coach continued. “It was a different game, but in the end we conceded a decisive goal. And yet, we responded well, attacked more, even with two ties. The difference was that they managed to score, and we did not. We tried, we looked for the goal, but unfortunately we did not succeed.” Diego Giota, the Liverpool star, added: “Fernando tried to stir us up. We became more offensive, we tried in every way possible, but this time we did not succeed. After they won, it was harder.”


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