Ronaldo finds easy exit after Portugalís lethargic performance against Israel
Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo has refused to comment on whether he picked up a booking in a 1-1 draw with Israel deliberately. The Portugal international will be out of from the final group stage match from Group F.
Portugal needs three points and seven goals to topple the table leaders Russia, although they have nearly qualified for the playoffs leading to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Unfortunately, Portugal will miss out on the services Ronaldo in the final game.
Ronaldo’s absence from the last game can be taken lightly since third-placed Israel are five points behind Portugal, which means that even in the case of a defeat Paulo Bento and his squad will be entering the World Cup.
Portugal will be heading towards Luxembourg with few worries on their mind. Ronaldo, who will miss the game because of suspension due to yellow cards, didn’t reveal whether he deliberately picked up the last minute yellow card against Israel.
“I can't talk about that,” Ronaldo told Reuters. “FIFA is always very attentive to those situations. The playoff is the most important and I don't want to be out. I will be at those two matches.”
Later, Ronaldo talked to A Bola about his team’s eagerness to go deep into the World Cup. Ronaldo insists “it is not a drama” to participate in the playoffs, but he admits being fearful of meeting France.
If France is not in Portugal’s fate then Bento and his crew will meet Croatia, Sweden, England or Ukraine.
“France are the strongest we may face. They are the only ones I do not want to face,” Ronaldo said.
Ronaldo admitted his side recorded and unimpressive performance against Israel and that his team needed to pick up their form if they wanted to go deep into the World Cup.
“We have to improve in many aspects,” Ronaldo added. “Israel had two buses behind the ball and when it's like that it's hard to score.
“We were apathetic in the second half, looked sleepy even, and things did not go well. We lacked a bit of maturity at times -- maybe it was because we had a young team with a lot of changes.”