Portugal coach Fernando Santos has told reporters star forward Cristiano Ronaldo “hasn’t been able to sleep” since missing a vital penalty in the scoreless UEFA Euro 2016 draw against Austria that has left the team in real danger of missing out on a spot in the next round. Do You Know Why Cristiano Ronaldo Could Not Sleep Full Night?
With 11 minutes left to play during Saturday’s clash, the Real Madrid man missed the chance to become the first player to score in four separate Euro tournaments, smashing an effort off the post.
As reported by Copa 90’s Stuart Ballard, it led to much hilarity on social media, but Santos revealed the miss has weighed on Ronaldo, per James Orr of the Sun:
Do You Know Why Cristiano Ronaldo Could Not Sleep Full Night?
Cristiano hasn’t been able to sleep. On Sunday I was one of the first up and he was already awake.
He’s a winner and his experience will help him bounce back.
If there is a penalty in the next game, Cristiano Ronaldo will take it and he will score.
We played really well against Austria without scoring and we have to continue with this attitude. We made Austria, who are ranked 10th in the world, look like a small team.
According to Peter Smith of Sky Sports, the 31-year-old is going through the worst spell of his career from the penalty spot, missing five spot-kicks this season. He has also missed four of his last five attempts, and his success rate this season is an abysmal 61.5 percent―by far the worst of his career.
Per Bleacher Report UK, his struggles with set pieces haven’t been limited to the penalty spot:
Ronaldo enjoyed another fine season in front of goal for Real, but his recent struggles have come at a bad time for Portugal. With two draws from their opening two Euro 2016 matches, the Group F favourites find themselves in third place, two points behind leaders Hungary.
On paper, Portugal should beat the Hungarians on Wednesday and possibly lock up the top spot in Group F, but Bernd Storck’s team looked excellent in their 2-0 win over Austria and have a good chance of causing another upset.
Much will depend on Ronaldo, however. The three-time Ballon d’Or winner remains one of the most gifted players in the world, and when he finds his form, Portugal become a much stronger outfit.
He has gone through slumps before, and after a long 2015-16 campaign, it perhaps shouldn’t be a surprise to see the veteran struggle the way he has―the likes of Robert Lewandowski and Zlatan Ibrahimovic also haven’t been at their best during Euro 2016.
Per Justin Allen of the Sun, compatriots Ricardo Carvalho and Cedric Soares are confident he’ll turn things around before long, and if he does, Portugal’s future opponents better beware.