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Iceland’s Kari Arnason: sore loser Ronaldo will always be behind Messi

The smallest country at the tournament made a memorable first appearance on the international stage on Tuesday when holding Portugal, who have never failed to qualify for the quarter-finals, to a 1-1 draw in Saint-Étienne. That prompted a remarkably petulant outburst from the reigning world player of the year Ronaldo, who accused a team representing a country of 330,000 inhabitants of possessing “a small mentality” and had the temerity to mock their post-match celebrations. “They are not going to do anything in the competition,” he said following a record-equalling 127th appearance for Portugal.
The former Plymouth Argyle, Rotherham United and Aberdeen defender Arnason has not taken Ronaldo’s condescension lightly. “He’s a fantastic footballer but he’s not a gracious human being,” responded the Malmo central defender, who enjoyed a commanding night against Portugal’s front line. “The thing is we almost nicked the win so him saying we weren’t going for the win contradicts that. We got a draw and could have nicked it.
“Obviously we’re not going to create as much chances as a fantastic team likePortugal but his comments are the reason why Messi is always going to be one step ahead of him. You wouldn’t expect Messi to say that. It shows we got under his skin. It was lovely to hear that.”
Ronaldo ended the game embroiled in an argument with the referee and, despite his reluctance to shake hands with Iceland’s players, did so with the captain Aron Gunnarsson.
Arnason added: “It makes it even sweeter when he’s a sore loser like that. He can say whatever he wants. He didn’t really get a chance. He got one and he couldn’t put it away. What can I say? Sore loser. Tough shit. What does he expect – for us to play like Barcelona against him? He fannies about and dives around.”
Sphamandla Ntshokotsha

Sphamandla Ntshokotsha

Staff writter

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