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Manchester United star launches Cristiano Ronaldo defence following Portugal criticism



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Credit: Sky Sports

Former Manchester United striker Cristiano Ronaldo has been criticised following Portugal’s 2-1 win over Czechia during their 2024 European Championship opener.

Portugal’s opening fixture of the 2024 European Championships helped The Navigators off to a winning start. An own goal from Robin Hranáč and a winning finish from Francisco Conceição sealed a 2-1 victory.

Manchester United‘s Bruno Fernandes and Diogo Dalot both started the fixture alongside former Red Cristiano Ronaldo. Despite the win, some have criticised the 39-year-old marksman for his performance.

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However, after the game, Dalot defended Ronaldo, explaining that he adds a lot more to the squad than just goals.

“Cristiano Ronaldo was very focused, very physically fit and always ready to score goals,” Dalot told reporters, as quoted by The Metro.

“I know everybody will always expect him to score goals. Sometimes he scores, a lot of times he scores! Today, he was very close.

“Obviously, you can see in the game that he played how much he ran today. He helped us with and without the ball, he was always moving, energetic and that’s the Cristiano that we want.”

Speaking further, Dalot also added that he was happy with the way the squad reacted in the second half after going 1-0 down.

“We were hasty at times, especially in the first half, in our desire to enter and in our desire to find spaces, but we improved in the second half,” he said. “I am very happy with the win. We reacted. We lost well and rarely had counterattacks.

“We showed it until the end. We thought we would be able to turn the match around. We know that the first match in a competition like this is always difficult against a very complex team with many confrontations.

“I think we controlled the match, but we looked for victory, and this is what we must learn from this match and try (to) improve some aspects.”

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