Cristiano Ronaldo cannot win UEFA Euro 2016 for Portugal, says Pele
Former Brazil international and football legend, Edson Arantes do Nascimento aka Pele feels that it is highly unlikely for Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal to make a mark in this year's European Championship that is set to kick-off in France later tonight.
The three-time World Cup winner is currently in Paris in order to feature in a promotional event alongside the former Argentine international and fellow footballing legend, Diego Armando Maradona. It was there that Pele was asked to share his views on why Los Blancos star, Cristiano Ronaldo and his FC Barcelona counterpart, Lionel Messi are yet to taste any international success.
While the 75-year-old insists that their lack of any international success is not the fault of either the footballers, he believes that it will be difficult for the Portuguese captain, Cristiano Ronaldo to lead his side to a successful European Championship campaign which is set to commence in France tonight.
In an interview given to the Times of India, the Brazilian said, “Just the other day Cristiano took the last penalty to win the Champions League for Real Madrid, but there are so many national teams stronger than Portugal in the Euro. I was very happy to see him take Portugal to the semi-finals in 2012.”
“Germany seem to be the best bet, along with some other nations like Spain, France, Italy and England. It is a pity that the Netherlands could not qualify. That tells you how competitive the qualifying phase of the Euro is. Keep an eye on Belgium and Portugal, too,” he added.
When asked about two of the greatest footballers of this generation, Pele said, “(Lionel) Messi took his team to the World Cup final in my country and a year later to the Copa final in Chile. His team did not win on both the occasions, but they are on the right path.”
“Cristiano (Ronaldo) is very, very close to Messi, although he is a different type of footballer. Sometimes it is really difficult for anyone to determine who is ahead of whom and both of them are superb.”
UEFA Euro 2016 is set to kick-off tonight
The 2016 edition of the European Championship is set to kick-off in France later tonight with the host nation taking on Romania at 12.30 AM (IST). Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal will be taking on Iceland on Wednesday, 15 June 2016, 12.30 AM (IST).
Defending champions, Spain and World champions, Germany will start their UEFA Euro 2016 campaign against the Czech Republic and Ukraine respectively on Monday, 13 June 2016.