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Didi Hamann criticises Cristiano Ronaldo’s performance in Portugal’s win over Ghana

Didi Hamann criticises Ronaldo’s performance in Portugal’s win

Didi Hamann has hit out at Cristiano Ronaldo following his performance in Portugal’s narrow 3-2 win over Ghana in their opening World Cup match.

Ronaldo opened the scoring for his side from the penalty spot in the 65th minute, becoming the first player in football history to score in five World Cup tournaments.

However, his goal came after the 37-year-old spurned a gilt-edged chance to fire his side to the lead in the first half as his first touch failed him.

Ronaldo got on the scoresheet, but Hamann was unconvinced by his performance and felt the former Manchester United man was holding his side back.

“I don’t think he’s the same player,” Hamann told RTE. “I don’t know if this is match fitness or because he hasn’t played. If you watch him today, the balls he’s given away, he’s never given away in his career. 

“I think he’s lost at least a yard, but what he still does, he’s probably still the best in the air, because the spring he’s got is unbelievable.”

When asked if Ronaldo could still fire Portugal to glory, Hamann added: “I’m not too sure. They look pedestrian. 

“Obviously off set pieces he can always score because he’s good with his head, but whether he gets another club or where he gets another club, I’m not too sure.”

Rafael Leao was brought on in the 77th minute, and his introduction arguably changed the match. The AC Milan forward needed three minutes to significantly impact the game by adding Portugal’s third.

The 23-year-old’s cameo impressed Hamann, who believed the youngster could be pivotal to Portugal’s hopes because of his pace.

“I think Leao has got to come into the team because they just lack pace throughout the pitch, and if you haven’t got pace in modern football, it’s very hard to create chances from open play,” Hamann said.

Portugal scraped to a less than convincing triumph over the Black Stars of Africa, who pulled one back to make it 3-2 late in the game after falling two goals behind in the 80th minute. 

Despite being the first African side to score in the tournament, it was too little too late for the Ghanaians to muster a comeback.

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