Didi Hamann thinks ‘pedestrian’ Portugal would be better off WITHOUT 37-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo
‘You could say his age today… I don’t think he’s of much help to Portugal’: Cristiano Ronaldo’s lack of pace slows down Fernando Santos’ ‘pedestrian’ side and they’d be better off WITHOUT him, insists Didi Hamann
Cristiano Ronaldo was criticized by Didi Hamann following his performance in Portugal’s win over Ghana on Thursday night.
The 37-year-old striker opened the scoring from the penalty spot, becoming the first man to score in five different World Cups in the process.
It was a less comfortable result than Portugal fans might have hoped for, however, as Ghana scored twice to make the score 3-2.
Didi Hamann (above) has questioned the impact of Cristiano Ronaldo on the Portuguese team
He praised Ronaldo for being good with his head, but criticized him for giving away the ball.
Despite going on the scoreboard, Hamann felt that Ronaldo was holding his team back. He said RTA: “I don’t think it’s the same player, I don’t know if it’s because of the physical shape of the match or because he hasn’t played.” If you look at him today, the balls he’s given away he’s never given away in his career.
‘I think he’s lost at least a yard, but what he’s still doing, he’s probably still the best in the air, because the spring he has is unbelievable.
Asked if Ronaldo could still help Portugal, Hamann said: “I’m not quite sure. They look like pedestrians.
However, Hamann criticized the 37-year-old for giving up possession too easily on Thursday.
Hamann said Ronaldo’s lack of pace is holding back Fernando Santos’ ‘pedestrian’ side.
“Obviously, outside of set pieces, he can always score because he’s good with his head, but I’m not really sure if he hits another stick or where he hits another stick.
Going forward, Hamann felt Rafael Leao would be key to Portugal’s hopes.
He said: “I think Leao has to come into the team because they lack pace all over the pitch, and if you don’t have pace in modern football, it’s very difficult to create chances from open play.”
‘Once they get out of the group, which they should, the knockout stages are a different story. I don’t think it’s a team that’s easy to break, but a lot of similar players and I wouldn’t have them as one of the three or four teams that can actually win it.
Hamann felt Rafael Leao’s pace would be key to Portugal’s tournament hopes.