Day after Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo has criticised the celebrations by Iceland players following the teams’ 1-1 draw in their Group F match of the Euro Cup football tournament on June 15, Iceland midfielder Kari Arnason ripped FIFA Ballon d’Or winner for his small mentality.
Ronaldo had on Tuesday night said: “The way they celebrated at the end was unbelievable. Iceland don’t try to play, they just defend, defend and defend. Then they celebrate like they have won the Euros. This in my opinion shows a small mentality. They are not going to do anything in this competition.”
“It was a little bit frustrating. We tried hard to win the game, Iceland didn’t try anything. They scored a goal, they created a couple of chances in the 90 minutes but otherwise they got every player behind the ball. They parked a bus in the net. It was a lucky night for them,” the 31-year-old added.
Reacting on this Iceland’s Kari said: “[Ronaldo is] a fantastic footballer, but he’s not a gracious human being and the thing is we almost nicked the win, so him saying we weren’t going for the win contradicts that. “
“Obviously we’re not going to create as much chances as a fantastic team like Portugal, but his comments are the reason why [Lionel] Messi is always going to be one step ahead of him,” he added.
Former Iceland international Hermann Hreidarsson also hit back at Ronaldo and said: “It’s petty in a way. He’s a sore loser, obviously.”
Portugal took the lead through Nani in the 31st minute, but Birkir Bjarnason restored parity for Iceland in the second half at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard here on Tuesday evening. Iceland are appearing in their first ever major tournament, and their players and fans celebrated wildly after the match.
(With Agencies Inputs)