Cristiano Ronaldo hits back at media after firing Portugal to Euro 2020: 'There was no controversy – you created that'
Cristiano Ronaldo took his international goals tally to 99 after helping fire his side to a 2-0 win over Luxembourg as Portugal qualified for the Euro 2020 finals, then criticized the media for their stories about his fitness.
Ronaldo netted late on to secure the victory to add to the hat-trick he struck against Lithuania earlier in the week as Portugual labored to victory on a pitch difficult surface at the Jose Barthel Stadium.
“It’s difficult to play on these pitches,” said Ronaldo.
“It was a potato field, I don’t know how teams of our level are supposed to play on these pitches.
“It wasn’t a good spectacle but we did our job… I’m looking forward to my fifth European Championship.”
Ronaldo’s two performances for Portugal came hot on the heels of a controversial week at his club side Juventus, where head coach Maurizio Sarri has looked to manage his star player’s niggling knee injury by cutting short his appearances with substitutions.
Ronaldo’s reaction to being withdrawn showed his frustration, as he hit the headlines after reportedly storming off after being withdrawn during Juve’s 1-0 win over AC Milan last Sunday.
But the Portuguese star said the furor over his situation was created by the media, rather than by any reaction he gave at the time.
“In the last three weeks, I have been playing with limitations,” Ronaldo admitted after Portugal’s win.
“But there was no controversy – you (the media) created that.
“I tried to help Juventus. Nobody likes to be substituted but I understood because I wasn’t in such good shape.”
Ronaldo also revealed he was “not 100%” during his two appearances for his country, but played for the greater good of the team.
“I sacrificed myself for the team,” he said.
“We could have missed out (on the Euro 2020 finals). Thankfully, I haven’t been injured much in my career but it can happen.
“It’s a pain that prevents me from being 100 percent, but I always try to play. They created a big controversy where it didn’t need to exist. I’ll be back to 100 percent soon.”
The 34-year-old is just one strike away from reaching a century of international goals, a feat only achieved by one other player – Iran’s Ali Daei – in the history of the game. But he said the records would take care of themselves.
“The 100th goal will come naturally,” he said.
“Records are there to be beaten and I am going to beat them.”