Wales midfielder Joe Ledley has said Cristiano Ronaldo’s match-winning performance in the Euro 2016 semifinal was frustrating because the Portugal captain is “never in the game” and “didn’t really do anything” other than score.
Wales reached the last four in France but their tournament came to an end with a 2-0 defeat to Portugal as Ronaldo broke the deadlock with a powerful header in the 50th minute before Nani slid in to divert his shot past Wayne Hennessey three minutes later.
Ledley said Ronaldo otherwise had little influence on the match, particularly in comparison to his Real Madrid teammate Gareth Bale.
“He’s one of those players who frustrates you,” the Crystal Palace midfielder told reporters. “He’s never in the game compared to Gareth. He’s always in the game, always on the ball, always wanting it, always dribbling and always trying to do something.
“They were two crappy goals. Ronaldo’s shot was useless. Normally he hits them from there but he scuffled the cross for a tap-in. With the header, the guy can leap, but apart from that he didn’t really do anything in the game.”
He rejected the suggestion he was not a fan of Ronaldo, saying: “You can’t disagree with his ability.
“He’s a fantastic player, one of the best in the world, but we just had one of those days where things he did came off. He’s now in the final and you wish him well.
“They gave us a lot of respect in the game, sitting back and letting us have the ball. We tried to play our game but their system worked and in the end ours didn’t.”
Wales were missing Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey and Tottenham Hotspur left-back Ben Davies due to suspension for the Portugal game and Ledley added: “We were missing key players. We want to achieve better things than this and hopefully we can do that with the World Cup.”
Hal Robson-Kanu, meanwhile, said Wales “wouldn’t swap Gaz [Bale] for any other player in the world.”
Bale scored three goals in Wales’ first international tournament since the 1958 World Cup, but Robson-Kanu said the 26-year-old’s influence on the side went far deeper.
Robson-Kanu said: “He shows how invaluable he is with what he does for Madrid but, for us, he brings more than what people see or realise. It is a credit to him.”
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