Euro 2024: Czech Republic Boss Hails ‘Genius’ Cristiano Ronaldo After Helping Portugal Seal Win

Euro 2024: Czech Republic Boss Hails ‘Genius’ Cristiano Ronaldo After Helping Portugal Seal Win

Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe
June 19, 2024 at 6:15 AM
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  • Cristiano Ronaldo received rave reviews from Czech Republic coach, Ivan Hasek, following Portugal's narrow win
  • While not getting among the goal-scorers, Ronaldo played a crucial role in helping the Selecao seal a 2-1 victory
  • Hasek would have to map up a different strategy when his side face Georgia in their next group game on June 22

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Czech Republic manager, Ivan Hasek, paid a glowing tribute to Cristiano Ronaldo despite his team's heartbreaking loss to Portugal in their Group F opener on Tuesday, June 18.

Hasek's side weathered Portugal's first-half pressure under torrential rain in Leipzig and then stunned one of the pre-tournament favourites early in the second half.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal, Czech Republic, Euro 2024, genius, Ivan Hasek, genius.
Cristiano Ronaldo passionately celebrates Portugal's hard-fought victory over the Czech Republic on June 18, 2024. Photo by Maryam Majd.
Source: Getty Images

Lukas Provod's breathtaking strike from outside the box left Diogo Costa helpless in the post for the Selecao, hinting at a probable upset.

However, the lead lasted only seven minutes before Robin Hranac's own goal levelled the score.

Super sub, Francisco Conceicao, then smashed home his first goal for Portugal in stoppage time, securing all three points for Roberto Martinez's men.

While expressing his frustration over his team allowing a potential draw to slip away, the 60-year-old tactician praised Ronaldo, describing him as one of the greatest footballers to have ever graced the sport.

"It's amazing how dangerous he is. He showed what a genius he is. I take my hat off to him. He's one of the best players in history,” he said, as quoted by The Nassr Zone.

How did Ronaldo perform vs Czechia?

Cristiano performed admirably despite not scoring in his record-extending sixth appearance at the European Championship.

According to Sofascore, the 39-year-old had three shots on target, achieved perfect pass accuracy by completing all 22 passes, and created one big chance in the game, earning an overall rating of 7.1.

What's next for Czechia and Portugal?

Czechia's loss in the opening match means they must secure positive results in their upcoming group games against Georgia and Turkey to keep their hopes alive for advancing to the round of 16.

Conversely, a victory for Portugal in their second group game against Turkey on Saturday, June 22, would virtually guarantee their progression to the next stage, as the Selecao aim for a second European Championship title.

Ronaldo called Portugal's 'weakest player'

While Hasek hailed Ronaldo, Czech Republic legend, Karel Poborsky, stirred controversy by calling the five-time Ballon d'Or winner one of Portugal's "weakest players," as reported by Sports Brief.

Poborsky cited Ronaldo's age as a potential advantage for opponents and suggested that his presence might complicate matters for Portugal's manager, Roberto Martinez.

Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe photo
Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe
Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe is a Ligue 1, Bundesliga, and La Liga editor with five-year experience. He previously worked with Sports Corna and 360SportsGH.