A devastating blow has occurred to Portugal’s football(soccer) team as their captain, Cristiano Ronaldo, has had to bow out of the European Championship final 24th minutes in after receiving a painful knee injury.
Seven minutes into the final, Ronaldo was hit by France’s Dimitri Payet trailing leg when Payet went in with a forceful tackle to claim the ball from him.
“[The tackle] was a bit lazy from Payet,” BBC’s Danny Murphy said during the match’s commentary. “It wasn’t a great tackle but it wasn’t nasty.”
Ronaldo tried to play past the pain, sporting a heavy strap and going off the field twice for treatment, according to the DailyMail, but was unable to continue after he attempted for the third time to lead with a counter-attack and was forced to evacuate the field-in tears- on a stretcher.
Fernando Santos, the Portugal’s team boss, immediately sent out Ricardo Quaresma to take Ronaldo’s place.
“It’s a shame for everybody: viewers, players, you want to beat the best team, play against the best players,” Murphy said.
“It’s what you say before you go out, as the best player, [Payet] wanted to let him know he was there. You don’t want to injure anybody, you want to be physical,” Rio Ferdinand, the former English defender, said. “It’s just unfortunate that Ronaldo’s studs got caught and jarred his knee.”
Besides being Portugal’s best player, after netting his ninth win against Wales in Portugal’s 2-0 Euro 2016 semifinals victory on Thursday, as reported by ESPN, Ronaldo has tied with Michel Platini’s record for the all-time European Championship top scorer. He has also become the first player to score in four different European Championship tournaments and be in three European Championship finals.
Whether the injury proves to be serious or not, this proves to be a disaster for Portugal’s team that was counting on Ronaldo-their best player- to help them win the game and for Ronaldo himself. As of this moment, the score is still 0-0.
We will update this story as it progresses.
UPDATE: Portugal bested France even with their best player, Ronaldo, out for the count, beating them 1-0 and have earned themselves the championship title.
Image retrieved from Flickr.