• Euro 2012

Ronaldo has a pop at Messi

ESPN staff
June 14, 2012
Cristiano Ronaldo struggled in front of goal against Denmark © PA Photos

Cristiano Ronaldo has taken a swipe at Lionel Messi after the Portugal international was mocked by Denmark supporters.

Portugal claimed a 3-2 win over Denmark to revive their qualification hopes, but Ronaldo was in the spotlight after squandering a string of chances.

The Real Madrid star's form has been a concern for Portugal at Euro 2012 and during the win over Denmark, Danish fans chanted Messi's name whenever Ronaldo was on the ball.

Ronaldo cut a frustrated figure throughout and he picked up a late yellow card. Following the game, Ronaldo was asked about the Messi chants and he responded with a dig at his great rival. He said: "You know where he was at this time [last year]? Do you know? He was being eliminated in the Copa America, in his own country. I think that's worse, no?"

Portugal coach Paulo Bento was staunch in defence of his captain when asked if Ronaldo was wilting under the weight of expectation.

"That's not my impression [that Ronaldo is struggling to handle the pressure]," Bento said. "He has the same pressure as all the players that want to contribute to the game. He was in some difficult situations but, from our point of view, he has played two very good games and I am very certain that not a single player in our squad might be unsatisfied [with him]."

Ronaldo would appear to be unfazed by his struggles in front of goal. He said: "If I don't score a single goal and Portugal win the Euro I'll take that right now.

"Yes, maybe I demonstrated I was angry at myself [after missing chances]. "I could have done better with the chances I had, but the important thing is that we are still in the race. Now we have to win our next match."

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