Lothar Matthaus, Germany’s World Cup winning captain in 1990, said Cristiano Ronaldo was a ‘big failure’ in the FIFA World Cup 2022 and blamed his ego for damaging his legacy.
“With his ego trips, Ronaldo has damaged the team and himself. There is no doubt that he was a great player and an absolutely lethal finisher. But now he has damaged his legacy. I find it hard to think that he can find a place in a team. I kind of feel sorry for Ronaldo,” Matthaus told German newspaper Bild.
“Ronaldo is of course a big failure of the World Cup, the opposite of Messi. [Messi is] the absolute winner. He deserves it because he has given me and all football fans great joy with his qualities and the way he plays over 17-18 years. For me, Messi is the player of the millennium,” he added.
Ronaldo, whose contract with Manchester United was terminated after a controversial interview with Piers Morgan, was benched in Portugal’s last two knockouts matches. Coach Fernando Santos used him only as a substitute. This led to fans and pundits questioning Santos’ strategy.
Though Portugal beat Switzerland 6-1 in the round of 16, it was eliminated by Morocco 1-0 in the quarterfinal.