Gary Lineker agrees with 'terrible' Alan Shearer remark as Cristiano Ronaldo mocked

Cristiano Ronaldo was furious at his penalty miss (Image: Getty)

Gary Lineker has unleashed a scathing comparison of Cristiano Ronaldo to a petulant schoolboy following his outburst in Portugal’s nail-biting Euro 2024 round of 16 match against Slovenia. The veteran striker, aged 39, squandered several free kicks from close range during the intense Monday encounter, yet was presented with a golden opportunity to redeem himself in extra time as the scoreline stubbornly remained 0-0.

Diogo Jota’s dazzling run was abruptly halted by Vanja Drkusic’s foul, earning Portugal a penalty – and Ronaldo took charge of the pivotal spot kick, aiming for the bottom right corner, only to be denied by Jan Oblak’s stunning save, which ultimately led to a nerve-wracking penalty shootout.

Post-miss, Ronaldo was visibly distraught, comforted by his teammates as he grappled with the weight of the missed chance. However, Lineker, alongside Alan Shearer, openly pondered why Ronaldo’s drama overshadowed the match.

On The Rest Is Football podcast, BBC pundit Lineker said: “Sesko went through didn’t he? One on one and the keeper saved it and he saved all the penalties in the shootout – but even then, the day was not about him was it? It ended up being about Cristiano Ronaldo who kind of had about four free kick attempts, I think,” reports the Mirror.

“Who had a missed penalty, a one-on-one with the goalkeeper and missed them and obviously burst into tears and got all emotional and it became about him. Do you think that becomes a little bit of a problem for Portugal?”

Shearer responded: “Well I said didn’t I before a ball was kicked that if Portugal are going to go deep into the tournament, it all depends on how Roberto Martinez handles and deals with him? And that still is the case because he’s played every game – I know he took him off in the third game – but other than him, I think the goalkeeper and Paulinha, the rest of the first team was rested for the third group game.

Ronaldo missed his first penalty of the game (Image: AFP via Getty Images)

“That game sort of summed it up as that is how it’s going to be for Portugal – it has to be about Ronaldo. He’s 39 years of age, clearly he’s not as good as he was, he’s not as quick as he was, he’s not as sharp as he was in the box. But his movement is still very, very good.”

Lineker then drew parallels between the Slovenia game and his own experience at Euro 1990 when Paul Gascoigne received a yellow card against Germany. This would have meant Gascoigne missing the final if England had made it through their tightly contested semi-final.

The former England striker confessed that he could “understand his emotion for that” but took issue with Ronaldo’s tantrum over a missed penalty. He pointed out that Ronaldo hasn’t scored in the tournament and he understands his desire to maintain his record of scoring in consecutive European Championships.

He added: “But the team weren’t losing, there was still lots to play for and it was almost…I don’t want to say this, but it was almost like a really talented schoolboy when things don’t happen for him and he has a bit of a breakdown, I’ve seen it. And it was different to the Gazza thing, and Gazza, his bottom lip went slightly – but this was a kind of a full outburst.”

Lineker and Shearer then carried on talking about Ronaldo’s routine of taking – and missing – free kicks, as Shearer said: “The free-kick scenarios, it has to come from him to say ‘well, go on, you take it,’ rather than someone else coming along and saying ‘come on, let me have one now.’ He has to say ‘go on, you have a go.’

“His record is terrible on free-kicks, it’s awful. He obviously demands to play every game, he demands to take every free kick. I mean you’ve got Bruno Fernandes on there who’s a wonderful free kick taker – and he had, I dunno, maybe four or five and one of them was from a ridiculous angle where he had to get on it and he had to shoot.”

Lineker was less than impressed by the star (Image: Getty)

Lineker agreed with Shearer that Ronaldo’s free-kick record at major tournaments had been ‘terrible’ and felt that Portugal would be better served if Bruno Fernandes took them instead.

He added: “It’s almost impossible [to take free-kicks off Ronaldo] despite the fact, what’s his record one in 60 something now that’s he scored from in tournaments. And Bruno Fernandes you know is a better free-kick taker and a more varied free-kick taker than Ronaldo so that’s why I’m saying that whilst he’s a massive strength, he can also be, you know how the saying goes Micah, your greatest strength can also be your greatest weaknesses.

“And this is nothing against Ronaldo, he’s an unbelievable player. I watched him the other day and his movement in the box is perfect, he goes forward one way and back the other but he does it with a sharpness and he obviously has a presence in the air as well. He is unbelievably good at that but it’s more the ego side of him that could ultimately be the weakness for himself, Portugal and Roberto [Martinez].”

Portugal clinched victory in a nail-biting penalty shootout. Josip Ilicic was first to falter, with Diogo Costa saving his attempt, setting the stage for Ronaldo to atone for an earlier miss by slotting his second penalty into the side netting and promptly apologising for his previous error.

Despite Slovenia’s staunch defence throughout the match, Jure Balkovec’s penalty was thwarted by Costa, followed by Fernandes doubling Portugal’s advantage in the shootout. The tension escalated as Benjamin Verbic approached the spot for Slovenia’s third penalty, only to be outwitted by the formidable Costa. Bernardo Silva then coolly dispatched his shot, deceiving Oblak and securing Portugal’s place in the quarter-finals, where they are set to face France on Friday.