Cristiano Ronaldo and his Portugal team were knocked out of the Euro 2020 as Belgium beat the defending champions courtesy a thunderous goal by Borussia Dortmund winger Thorgan Hazard on the 43rd-minute.
Portugal had several opportunities in the second-half to get the equaliser but they failed to test Thibaut Courtois and a shot by Raphael Guerreiro that hit the post.
At the completion of the match, a frustrated Cristiano Ronaldo threw his captain’s armband on the pitch as he and his team were dumped out of the tournament by Belgium.
The 36-year-old Portuguese superstar appeared distraught and squatted down as Belgium’s players celebrated their win in Spain.
Later he was seen kicking the armband as he walked off the pitch as another person picked it up off the ground as the Juventus forward trudged down the tunnel.
Cristiano Ronaldo kicking the Armband of Portugal after defeat vs Belgium.Leader or Sore Loser pic.twitter.com/FAvVD0XsRC
— Valhalla (@SemperFiMessi) June 27, 2021
Ronaldo, who is currently the top scorer at the Euro 2020 with five goals had a rather quiet game against the Red Devils. Apart from the powerful first-half free-kick saved by Thibaut Courtois, he failed to bother the Belgian goalkeeper.
He was an isolated figure up front, his every touch booed early on by the Belgian fans, who then cheered when he was robbed of the ball before being bumped to the ground by Thomas Meunier.
Portugal could have opened the scoring early in the match but Liverpool forward Diogo Jota’s effort went wide.
Portugal overall had 23 shots towards goal out of which only four were on target. Belgium on the other hand had just 6 out of which just one was on target.
Portugal’s defensive approach that served them so well in France five years ago was perhaps outdone by a side that now boasts some of the most creative technicians in the world.
“I think it’s an unfair result but they scored and we didn’t," said Portugal coach Fernando Santos.
However, Belgium’s victory was marred by injuries to Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard. The Manchester city midfielder suffered an ankle injury while coach Roberto Martinez said Hazard’s problem was “more of a muscle feeling".