“They don’t trust Ronaldo enough” – Stuart Pearce Accuses Portugal Players Of Not Passing The Ball To Al-Nassr Superstar During Czechia Clash

Cristiano Ronaldo Frustrated
Cristiano Ronaldo Frustrated

Former England international Stuart Pearce has sensationally claimed Portugal players do not have enough trust in their talisman Cristiano Ronaldo. Pierce believes that Portugal’s playmakers, most notably Bernardo Silva, deliberately did not pass the ball to the Al-Nassr superstar during the EURO 2024 victory over Czechia.

One of the favorites for EURO 2024, Portugal kicked off their campaign with a clash against Group F rivals Czechia on Tuesday night (June 18). Despite having one of the most star-studded starting XIs in the world, Portugal failed to dominate proceedings in Leipzig.

They found themselves trailing in the 62nd minute, courtesy of a thumping strike from Czech attacker Lukas Provod. An unfortunate own goal from Robin Hranac allowed Portugal to equalize, but they had to wait until the second minute of injury time to score the winner. Substitute Francisco Conceicao popped up with the all-important strike to seal all three points against Czechia.

Stuart Pearce Accuses Portugal Stars Of Icing Cristiano Ronaldo Out

Ronaldo, who made history on Tuesday by becoming the first player to play in six European Championships, had a quiet night by his lofty standards. He had three shots on target but never looked like finding the back of the net. He also spent a lot of time out of action, as Czechia did their best to isolate the Al-Nassr ace.

Pearce, however, does not think Czechia should take all the credit for keeping Ronaldo quiet. He believes it was the 39-year-old’s own teammates who did not bring him into play.

Speaking on talkSPORT, he said (via GOAL):

This might sound ridiculous, but [maybe] they don’t trust Ronaldo enough to keep supplying him with the ball, that type of thing. There’s been times in the games where he’s shown to feet and they’ve not popped the ball into his feet.

There was one with Bernardo Silva, it was one of these rogue passes [by Czech Republic] that got cut out. Bernardo Silva had it in the centre circle, Ronaldo peeled off in an inside-right position. I’m thinking, ‘If this was ten years ago, you slide it in front of him and you know full well he’s going to get there and score.’ He [Silva] denied the pass, and I found that quite strange.”

After failing to get off the mark in the tournament opener, Ronaldo will be eager to set the record straight on Matchday 2. It will be interesting to see how he fares when Portugal take on Group F leaders Turkiye on Saturday evening (June 22).

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