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Sports News of Thursday, 17 July 2014


'Unbalanced' Ronaldo is in love with himself, slams Boban

The former Milan midfielder is not impressed by the Portugal attacker's behaviour, while he was equally critical of Italy's slide into "an average football circus"

Croatia legend Zvonimir Boban has hit out at Portugal international Cristiano Ronaldo in the wake of the World Cup and feels the Real Madrid star's tendency to put himself ahead of the team cost them at this summer's tournament.

The 29-year-old couldn't prevent his side from crashing out in the group stages in Brazil - despite scoring once and setting up another in three appearances - as they had to settle for third place behind Germany and USA and Boban thinks the presence of Ronaldo indirectly cost Portugal.

"Ronaldo is an amazing player and he showed that again in Brazil, even if he missed a number of chances," Boban writes in his column for Sportske Novosti. "But his biggest flaw is the way he looks at himself and the team.

"He scored the 4-1 in the 120th minute of the Champions League final and celebrated like he was insane. That was the ultimate proof that he loves himself. The headlines should be about the team, not about Ronaldo.

"The same thing happened with Portugal in Brazil. There was no order or discipline. All the Portugal players were playing their own game and more occupied with their hair and tattoos. It's Hollywood behaviour.

"It's almost as if the players wanted to show there's more to Portugal than Ronaldo. It's a sad thing that a team loses its identity because of an unbalanced captain, both for Ronaldo and for an entire generation."

The former Milan midfielder also had his say on Italy's performances at the World Cup - in which they were dumped out at the group stage for the second successive tournament - and was equally critical of Cesare Prandelli's men.

"Italy have been on the slide for years. Once, they were the NBA of football, but they've become an average football circus.

"Italian clubs sell their stars these days and Prandelli's side was the reflection of that development. They looked like they didn't know what to do on the pitch and how to play. Italy used to know how to win games, but they had even forgotten that.

"They ended the way they were destined to end with such a weak defence, a slow midfield and a silly attacker like Mario Balotelli. Italy have lost their identity."