Cristiano Ronaldo says Iceland 'didn't try anything,' but about that ...

Cristiano Ronaldo says Iceland 'didn't try anything,' but about that ...

Published Jun. 14, 2016 8:16 p.m. ET

Iceland's surprise draw against Portugal in their Euro 2016 opener served as Tuesday's feel-good story coming out of Tuesday's competition in France -- unless you're Cristiano Ronaldo.

Someone clearly swapped out Ronaldo's post-match snack with a bowl of sour grapes, as the Portugal star bemoaned the playing style and desire of Iceland.

"It was a little bit frustrating, we tried hard to win the game, Iceland didn't try anything," Ronaldo said via The Mirror.


There are quite a few problems with that attitude though, chiefly among them that Iceland did try something. They defended as a team, stymied the Portugal attack, and most importantly they nicked a goal and swiped an important point.

Ronaldo seemed a frustrated figure against Iceland.

Before delving further into Ronaldo's tirade, it's worth remembering that Euro 2016 represents Iceland's first major tournament -- ever. Prior to qualifying to France, the island nation had never entered or qualified for a World Cup or the Euros. So yeah, it's a pretty big deal for them to even be participating. It explains why more than 8 percent of the nation's population applied to for tickets to watch the team.

While most of the world, or at least Iceland fans and neutrals, found joy in Iceland's improbable 1-1 draw, Ronaldo saw it in an entirely different light.

"We just try our best, keep the ball all the time and Iceland didn't try anything, they were just 'defend, defend, defend' and playing on the counter attack. It was a lucky night for them. We should have three point(s) but we are OK."

Here's the flaw in Ronaldo's logic: Who's to say what the proper way to play football is? That's the inherent beauty of the beautiful game, that teams and managers with inferior talent can still compete by utilizing superior (or in Ronaldo's case with Iceland, frustrating) tactics.

Iceland celebrated thoroughly after the draw vs. Portugal. 

Population theory isn't always ironclad, but Portugal boast an estimated population of roughly 10.5 million, while Iceland weigh in at approximately 330,000 -- or about the same population as Corpus Christi, Texas. To put it plainly, Ronaldo and Portugal shouldn't have had an issue with Iceland, no matter how they lined up.

Nani put Portugal up in the 31st minute, but it was Iceland -- who didn't "try anything," remember -- that pushed and managed to squeak out an equalizer in the 50th minute. And while the chances for Iceland were few and far between, all four of their shots at least tested the keeper.

Iceland's net-minder, meanwhile, stood on his head and bailed out his dogged defense when they needed him. Nani's effort aside, Hannes Halldorsson swatted away 10 shots and generally kept his organized. Ronaldo's two free-kick efforts to close out the match both didn't manage to make it past the wall (the first was deemed a hand ball, however).

"I thought they'd won the Euros the way they celebrated at the end, it was unbelievable," Ronaldo said. As a guy that's intimately familiar with success at the club level, but markedly less so with Portugal, maybe he should learn to celebrate victories as they come.

At the very least, he should stop concerning himself with Iceland's celebrations, and start concerning himself with how a team that did nothing but 'defend, defend, defend' managed to break through and draw his side.



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