Iceland came back from 1–0 down to hold mighty Portugal to a 1–1 draw in their first ever match at the European Championship. Cristiano Ronaldo had quality chances to score throughout the match, but just couldn’t quite find that finishing touch. Given that he is the tournament’s biggest star and had all eyes on him while facing an opponent he should have made easier work of, he was rather frustrated. And when Cristiano gets frustrated, he smiles. A lot.
The first time, he was likely smiling because he knew his near miss was cause for concern for Iceland. Look at Gylfi Sigurdsson scream. Cristiano’s not happy with himself, but the fear of his opponents is satisfying enough. For now.
Now a bit of doubt slips in. This is a “What’s going on here?” smile.
This is followed by anger. The “I’m going to smile so I don’t rip this guy’s beard off his face” smile.
That leads to the “OK, Cristiano, just relax. You’ll score. You always score. You’re the best. You’re a bright, shining star” smile.
As the missed opportunities pile up and the calls don’t go his way, out comes the “I can’t believe this is happening to me” smile.
And when the final whistle blows after he smashes one last free kick into the wall, it’s the “Screw this — I’m the world’s highest paid athlete and I’ll just score 12 against Austria” smile.
Finally, he concludes with the “I have better abs than all of you” smile.
Iceland, meanwhile, just had one response for all of Cristiano’s bemused grins.
Cristiano finished the match with 10 shots the second most in a Euro match since 1980, according to Opta (the most was Cristiano’s 12 against the Netherlands in 2012). That’s more than nine of the 24 teams in this tournament, notes Who Scored.
After the match, he could smile no more, so he decided to dump on Iceland’s joy over their historic night. From the Telegraph:
“We should have three points but we are OK. I thought they’d won the Euros the way they celebrated at the end, it was unbelievable. When they don’t try to play and just defend, defend, defend this in my opinion shows a small mentality and they are not going to do anything in the competition.”
Maybe that “small mentality” has something to do with Iceland being the smallest nation to ever qualify for the Euros, Cristiano. For them, even being there is something worth celebrating. So to get a point against one of the top teams in Europe in their first match, yeah, it kind of was like winning a title to them.
But it’s OK, Cristiano. It was a tough night for you. Even the pitchside advertisements were getting sarcastic with you.