Khamis, 15 Disember 2011

Cristiano Ronaldo's 10 big game flops

PORTUGAL 0-1 GreeceJuly 4, 2004 |  Euro 2004 final

He may only have been 19 at the time, but his transfer to Manchester United in the summer of 2003 kicked off the Cristiano Ronaldo buzz. Being bestowed with United's famous No. 7 jersey only heightened the expectation and pressure, and in the final of Euro 2004 on home soil, he would experience his very first big disappointment in a high-profile game.

PORTUGAL 0-1 FranceJuly 5, 2006 | World Cup semi-final

It was the quarter-final showdown against England where the world's love-hate relationship with Ronaldo really exploded after his "winking" antics when he got Wayne Rooney sent off. In the semis against France, he was booed all game long by Three Lions fans who were expecting to see their team play Brazil, and Cristiano crumbled with a series of poor crosses and finishing, as well as showboat runs that yielded no end product.

AC Milan 3-0 MANCHESTER UNITEDMay 2, 2007 | Champions League semi-final second leg

United and Ronaldo were in rampant form in the Champions League having scored seven goals against Roma in the quarter-final second leg, with the Portuguese scoring two. But after a 3-2 first leg triumph over Milan in the last-four where Cristiano scored the opening goal, United and were outplayed in the return clash as their star No.7 was harassed and marked out of the game by Gennaro Gattuso.

MANCHESTER UNITED 0-1 ChelseaMay 19, 2007 | FA Cup final

Just 17 days after the Champions League elimination by AC Milan, Ronaldo and his Red Devils had a chance to make amends in the FA Cup final. But once again, the Portuguese had to endure another frustrating match of tight marking and discipline defending as Jose Mourinho's Chelsea set-up restricted his influence. With opposition like Claude Makelele, John Obi Mikel, Michael Essien and John Terry, Ronaldo simply could not find a way through.

Barcelona 0-0 MANCHESTER UNITEDApril 23, 2008 | Champions League semi-final first leg

Ronaldo has gone head to head with Barcelona 13 times so far in his playing career, but he has only three goals to his name against the Catalans. But all of that could have been so very different just three minutes into his very first encounter against the Blaugrana when he was given the chance to score from a penalty. He missed, and thus began his goal drought against Barca, which ran for almost exactly three years.

PORTUGAL 2-3 GermanyJune 19, 2008 | Euro 2008 quarter-finals

Ronaldo entered the Euros at the peak of his game having helped United to the Premier League and Champions League double. Despite amassing more experience and trophies at club level, his fortunes with the national team didn't get any better, and neither did his performances in the big games. Portugal crashed out at the Euro 2008 quarter-finals to the eventual runners-up, and Ronaldo was nowhere to be seen in the clash against the Germans.

Barcelona 2-0 MANCHESTER UNITEDMay 27, 2009 | Champions League final

By now, Ronaldo was the best player in the world after picking up the 2008 Ballon d'Or. But in what was his final game for Manchester United - and his very first taste of Pep Guardiola's Barcelona - it was a sad end to his Old Trafford career. With his team outplayed by the now familiar Barca possession football, Ronaldo let his frustration show as he attempted to single-handedly take the game to the Catalans. It backfired as it only served to further illustrate his individualism.

Spain 1-0 PORTUGAL29 June 2010 | World Cup last 16

After spending a full campaign in Spanish football and impressing in his debut season at Real Madrid, Ronaldo was billed as one of the megastars at the 2010 World Cup. Following an average performance in the group stages, his participation in South Africa came to an end in the last 16. Just like it was against Barcelona, Spain's possession football stifled Ronaldo, who then went on to blast his Portugal coach at the time, Carlos Queiroz, for his over-conservative tactics.

REAL MADRID 0-2 BarcelonaApril 27, 2011 | Champions League semi-final first leg

Yet another showdown with Barca, yet another let-down by Ronaldo, who over the last 10 days prior ended his goal drought against the Blaugrana and even delivered his team the Copa del Rey. But when it mattered most in the biggest of stages, the Portuguese failed to live up to the hype and not for the first time, was overshadowed by Lionel Messi. After the loss, Ronaldo criticised Mourinho when he questioned the coach's defensive approach to the game.

REAL MADRID 1-3 BarcelonaDecember 10, 2011 - La Liga

Ronaldo could use the excuse of his teams being outplayed and the coach deploying the wrong tactics in previous encounters against rivals who dominated possession, but against Barca last Saturday, the Portuguese was given everything he needed to succeed. He was served two glorious scoring chances which he spurned and had countless opportunities to run at the Blaugrana defence. He also hit three dismal freekicks from a position and distance where he would normally ripple the back of the net.


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