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Reliance on Ronaldo works against Portugal, Maradona declares

Portugal's forward Cristiano Ronaldo takes part in a training session at the team's base camp in Marcoussis. / AFP PHOTO / Francisco LEONG

Portugal’s forward Cristiano Ronaldo takes part in a training session at the team’s base camp in Marcoussis. / AFP PHOTO / Francisco LEONG

Portugal are “too dependent” on captain Cristiano Ronaldo as they prepare to face Croatia today in the last 16 of Euro 2016, according to Diego Maradona.

Ronaldo and Co. scrapped through to the knockout round following their thrilling 3-3 draw against Hungary in Group F on Wednesday.

A brace from Ronaldo not only saw the Real Madrid star become the first player to score in four editions of the European Championships but it helped Portugal set-up a showdown with tournament favourites Croatia in Lens today.

But former Argentina international Maradona – regarded as one of the greatest players of all-time – believes Portugal’s reliance on Ronaldo works against them.

“Portugal are too dependent on Ronaldo,” Maradona said in a column for the Times of India. “He was brilliant against Hungary, but they are half the force if he doesn’t click and the tactically astute Croats will ensure he is low on supply.

“He may have to move around for space and chances of Portugal’s success hinge on how well he does that.

“They also have to plug holes in midfield and defence, because these are areas where mistakes may lead to elimination. Croatia start favourites.”

Portugal qualified for the round of 16 as one of the best third-placed teams, despite not winning a game.

• Culled from Soccerway.com




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