Arsenal Opinion: The 10 biggest talking points from the Euro 2024 QuarterFinals (and Ronaldo!)

Here are my 10 best moments of the last 16 at Euro 2024….

Hand Ball

Think back to the 2010 World Cup.
Frank Lampard had a disallowed goal with the ball so clearly over the line FIFA could no longer ignore the issue.
For years Sepp Blatter had refused officials getting help from Technology, so it took the embarrassment of such a high-profile mistake at his showpiece event with the universe watching for him to reconsider.
If South Africa was the launch of Goal Line Technology, we could look back at Euro 2024 as certain rules being tweaked.
On the positive side, automated offsides have made the system a lot quicker and should be implemented in the Premiership straight away.
Yet clarification is still needed regarding what is handball.
What counts as deliberate?
Where should a defender have their hands?
What if they haven’t got time to adjust their body?
The biggest issue is VAR should only interject if a referee has made an obvious error.
If everyone has a varied interpretation of what is Handball, how can they ask for Micheal Oliver to look at the monitor last Saturday in the Germany Vs Denmark tie.
Worse, it was a couple of minutes after Anderson thought he had scored.
Over a decade ago, English anger forced the sport’s governing body to reevaluate itself. Will the Dane’s disgust do the same?

Clive Tyldesley

For fans of a certain age, Mr Tyldesley was the soundtrack of their childhood during Champions League nights and international tournaments.
4 years ago, he took to social media to say he hadn’t been given an explanation by his employer why he had been demoted from his senior position.
While he would still be part of their coverage at Euros and World Cups, Sam Matterface would commentate all England fixtures.
The 69-year-old was clearly hurt by the relegation, as he would be when the broadcaster decided not to renew his contract.
Strangely though he wasn’t asked to work until the competition ends in Germany, his last day at the job was in the round of 16 with little fanfare.
For a man who had worked for ITV sport for 28 years he deserved more respect.
While I can’t prove that his age has led to this decision, I’ll never believe Sam Matterface is a better voice for the channel.

Punditry

This has always put me in the minority among Gooners, but I like Gary Neville the pundit and podcast host.
Yet some of the punditry in the last few weeks has been terrible.
Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I believe an ex-player has a duty to not be hysterical in their analysis.
Last Sunday at half time watching England, Mr Neville demanded Gareth Southgate make 3 subs at the interval and another two 10 minutes later.
When have you ever seen a team change half of their outfield players after a bad 45 minutes?
I accept he’s desperate for his country to win, but this is the kind of reactionary outburst I would expect from a YouTuber!
Not someone who gets thousands of pounds to talk about the Sport.
Worse, when the manager was justified in leaving on Bellingham and Kane to score, Mr Neville didn’t have the gumption to say he was wrong.

Who Else?

These were the two words Jude Bellingham said immediately after keeping his country in the Euros by the skin of their teeth.
While dealing with emotion and relief, for that to be the first thing the midfielder thought of highlights how much he’s been bothered by the criticism this tournament.
That has divided opinion, with some suggesting England’s squad are being too sensitive.
It should remind people that the midfielder is only 20 years old.
As talented as he is, he’s still at an age where he’s going to have his outbursts.
I don’t mind though if he uses that energy in a positive way.
In top level sport, what separates success and failure is a small line.
That percentage could be one of the Three Lions best players having a chip on his shoulder.
If he thinks the world is against his team (however imaginary) and that inspires him, then carry on.

That Celebration

It’s not just what the 20-year-old said after his overhead kick which has made the news.
He also grabbed his crotch while talking to the Slovakia bench.
UEFA are currently investigating has the midfielder violated ‘the basic rules of decency’.
On social media, Bellingham posted his celebration was ‘an inside joke gesture towards some close friends who were at the game’.
It’s not for me to call him a liar as only he knows the truth.
It should be stressed though that Declan Rice referenced post-match that his teammates had been motivated by comments their opponents had made in the build-up, questioning England’s courage.
Outside of a suspension, I don’t really care if the youngster receives a fine or slap on the wrist.
Again, any added motivation that gives him that extra percent then go for it.

Golden Generation?

This is kind of following on from the Group Stage.
I think it’s fair to say that away from the comfort of Manchester where everything around him is at a hight standards, Kevin De Bruyne hasn’t enjoyed his role as Belgium’s captain?
The skipper hasn’t been shy in fighting back against the scrutiny his national side face.
Ordering his teammates not to engage with the crowd at the full-time whistle against Ukraine due to offensive chanting and gestures, and this week he was defensive when criticised for his sides perceived negative approach against France.
Questioned why his country’s ‘Golden Generation’ had yet again failed to make a Final, the 33-year-old correctly pointed out that the oppositions own squads could also be labelled Golden Generations.

Ronaldo Free Kick

My fave moment of the whole Euros.
While he won’t publicly admit it, Ronaldo clearly viewed Slovenia as a golden opportunity to score in a record 6th European Championship. Knowing that his odds were dwindling with France his next opponents, every missed chance the more desperate the 39-year-old became.
So, when Portugal had a free kick closer to the corner flag, Bernardo Silva came over to make a routine cross.
The captain comes running over not even hiding the fact that he intended to shoot from a ridiculously angle.
Silva had too much respect to argue.
The official then felt the set piece was being taken in the wrong place so ordered the ball to be moved back, making it even more improbable a goal would be scored directly.
Ronaldo laughed almost like he had been challenged, too proud to admit defeat and just pass the ball.
This is what you would expect in a testimonial, so it’s in fact quite disrespectful to Slovenia. Especially with one of the best in the world in goal.
Ronaldo won’t be trying the same thing this Friday.
It summed up the man’s desire to score and how much his nation adore him that they don’t dare question him. It’s endearing.

Ronaldo Tears

Here are my 10 best moments of the last 16 at Euro 2024….

Hand Ball

Think back to the 2010 World Cup.
Frank Lampard had a disallowed goal with the ball so clearly over the line FIFA could no longer ignore the issue.
For years Sepp Blatter had refused officials getting help from Technology, so it took the embarrassment of such a high-profile mistake at his showpiece event with the universe watching for him to reconsider.
If South Africa was the launch of Goal Line Technology, we could look back at Euro 2024 as certain rules being tweaked.
On the positive side, automated offsides have made the system allot quicker and should be implemented in the Premiership straight away.
Yet clarification is still needed regarding what is handball.
What counts as deliberate?
Where should a defender have their hands?
What if they haven’t got time to adjust their body?
The biggest issue is VAR should only interject if a referee has made an obvious error.
If everyone has a varied interpretation of what is Handball how can they ask for Micheal Oliver to look at the monitor last Saturday in the Germany Vs Denmark tie.
Worse, it was a couple of mins after Anderson thought he had scored.
Over a decade ago, English anger forced the sport’s governing body to reevaluate itself. Will the Dane’s disgust do the same?

Clive Tyldesley

For fans of a certain age, Mr Tyldesley was the soundtrack of their childhood during Champions League nights and international tournaments.
4 years ago, he took to social media to say he hadn’t been given an explanation by his employer why he had been demoted from his senior position.
While he would still be part of their coverage at Euros and World Cups, Sam Matterface would commentate all England fixtures.
The 69-year-old was clearly hurt by the relegation as he would be when the broadcaster decided not to renew his contract.
Strangely though he wasn’t asked to work till the competition ends in Germany, his last day at the job was in the round of 16 with little fanfare.
For a man who had worked for ITV sport for 28 years he deserved more respect.
While I can’t prove that his age has led to this decision, I’ll never believe Sam Matterface is a better voice for the channel.

Punditry

This has always put me in the minority among Gooners, but I like Garry Neville the pundit and podcast host.
Yet some of the punditry in the last few weeks has been terrible.
Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I believe an ex-player has a duty to not be hysterical in their analysis.
Last Sunday at half time watching England, Mr Neville demanded Gareth Southgate make 3 subs at the interval and another two 10 minutes later.
When have you ever seen a team change half of their outfield players after a bad 45 minutes?
I accept he’s desperate for his country to win but this is the kind of reactionary outburst I would expect off a YouTuber!
Not someone who gets thousands of pounds to talk about the Sport.
Worse, when the manager was justified in leaving on Bellingham and Kane to score Mr Neville didn’t have the gumption to say he was wrong.

Who Else?

These were the two words Jude Bellingham said immediately after keeping his country in the Euros by the skin of their teeth.
While dealing with emotion and relief, for that to be the first thing the midfielder thought of highlights how much he’s been bothered by the criticism this tournament.
That has divided opinion with some suggesting England’s squad are being too sensitive.
It should remind people that the midfielder is only 20 years old.
As talented as he is, he’s still at an age where he’s going to have his outbursts.
I don’t mind though if he uses that energy in a positive way.
In top level sport, what separates success and failure is a small line.
That percentage could be one of the Three Lions best players having a chip on his shoulder.
If he thinks the world is against his team (however imaginary) and that inspires him, then carry on.

That Celebration

It’s not just what the 20-year-old said after his overhead kick which has made the news.
He also grabbed his crotch while talking to the Slovakia bench.
UEFA are currently investigating has the midfielder violated ‘ the basic rules of decency ‘.
On social media, Bellingham posted his celebration was ‘ an inside joke gesture towards some close friends who were at the game.
It’s not for me to call him a liar as only he knows the truth.
It should be stressed though that Declan Rice referenced post-match that his teammates had been motivated by comments their opponents had made in the build-up, questioning England’s courage.
Outside of a suspension I don’t really care if the youngster receives a fine or slap on the wrist.
Again, any added motivation that gives him that extra percent then go for it.

Golden Generation?

This is kind of following from the Group Stage.
I think it’s fair to say that away from the comfort of Manchester where everything around him is at a hight standards, Kevin De Bryne hasn’t enjoyed his role as Belgium’s captain?
The skipper hasn’t been shy in fighting back against the scrutiny his national side face.
Ordering his teammates not to engage with the crowd at the full-time whistle against Ukraine due to offensive chanting and gestures, this week he was defensive when criticised for his sides perceived negative approach against France.
Questioned why his country’s ‘ Golden Generation’ had yet again failed to make a Final, the 33-year-old correctly pointed out that the opposition other squads could also be labelled Golden Generations.

Ronaldo Free Kick

My fave moment of the whole Euros.
While he won’t publicly admit it, Ronaldo clearly viewed Slovenia as a golden opportunity to score in a record 6th European Championship. Knowing that his odds were dwindling with France his next opponents, every missed chance the more desperate the 39-year-old became.
So, when Portugal had a free kick closer to the corner flag, Bernardo Silva came over to make a routine cross.
The captain comes running over not even hiding the fact that he intended to shoot from a ridiculously angle.
Silva had too much respect to argue.
The official then felt the set piece was being taken in the wrong place so ordered the ball to be moved back, making it even more improbable a goal would be scored directly.
Ronaldo laughed almost like he had been challenged, too proud to admit defeat and just pass the ball.
This is what you would expect in a testimonial so it’s in fact quite disrespectful to Slovenia. Especially with one of the best in the world in goal.
Ronaldo won’t be trying the same thing this Friday.
It summed up the man’s desire to score and how much his nation adore him that they don’t dare question him. It’s endearing.

Ronaldo Tears

If want to base life on black and white, then no it’s not ideal for Portugal ‘s captain to be crying after missing a penalty when there are still 15 mins of a game left that is 0-0.

No, it can’t help the rest of the squad to see their leader upset.

Yet to clarify Ronaldo didn’t break down on purpose. He didn’t decide halfway through extra time to make it about himself so made tears appear.

Was it unusual? Yes

But that’s kind of the point!

Name the most talented players you have ever seen and think how long they spent at the apex of the sport.

What makes Ronaldo and Messi so special is for nearly two decades they have the mentality which is unrivalled.
Having won Champions League’s, multiple Balon D’ors, trophies for their countries, become millionaires, where do they find the motivation to care as much as they do?

Yet both are spending their summers on international duty still trying to achieve even more.

Most players nearly 40 would just be grateful to be in the squad, content to get off the bench for a few minutes to add to their caps.

For Ronaldo, he’s desperate to be the only man to score in 6 European Championships and for every chance he missed against Slovenia, I think he knew his best chance of that happening was fading, hence why he got more desperate.

Is that self-involved?

Of course.

Yet, take away that aspect of the 39-year old’s personality and you never get all the glorious things he’s done in his career including the only trophy his nation have ever won.

Trainers

In one of the more bizarre moments in the last 16 as replays showed Donyell Malen’s third Dutch goal it was apparent that there were a pair of random trainers laying just outside the penalty area.
I assumed this were left by a pitch invader who had been led away by security moments before.
It never dawned on me that the shoes would have been thrown by the stands.
Again, proving that in the confines of a football stadium fans think they can act how they want, some actually thought they would remove their own footwear so they could have something to cause harm with (I’m assuming they didn’t bring a spare set with them?).
Obviously, this person wasn’t content just throwing cups which unfortunately has become such a recurrence at this tournament it’s almost been accepted ….

Fans Behaviour

I don’t think certain pundits have had a great Euros but Alan Shearers analysis from Tuesday takes some beating.
He had just praised Fans behaviour at this tournament having literally just watched … Netherlands vs Romania!
The 53-year-old was literally sat in the studio watching a fixture paused due to a pitch invader, thrown cups and someone throwing a pair of trainers onto the pitch.
It’s bad enough that broadcasters are no longer condoning this, making out that having a drink thrown over a player every time they take a corner is part of the sport.
Youngsters at home (and some adults) need educating not being told that supporters have behaved well when cups have been thrown at managers / players (some empty / some not), pitch invasions have taken place, laser pens have been apparent, and this week’s shoes and coins were thrown from the stands.

Dan

Yet to clarify Ronaldo didn’t break down on purpose. He didn’t decide halfway through extra time to make it about himself so made tears appear.

Was it unusual? Yes

But that’s kind of the point!

Name the most talented players you have ever seen and think how long they spent at the apex of the sport.

What makes Ronaldo and Messi so special is for nearly two decades they have the mentality which is unrivalled.
Having won Champions Leagues, multiple Balon D’ors, trophies for their countries, become millionaires, where do they find the motivation to care as much as they do?

Yet both are spending their summers on international duty still trying to achieve even more.

Most players nearly 40 would just be grateful to be in the squad, content to get off the bench for a few minutes to add to their caps.

For Ronaldo, he’s desperate to be the only man to score in 6 European Championships and for every chance he missed against Slovenia, I think he knew his best chance of that happening was fading, hence why he got more desperate.

Is that self-involved?

Of course.

Yet, take away that aspect of the 39-year old’s personality and you never get all the glorious things he’s done in his career including the only trophy his nation have ever won.

Trainers

In one of the more bizarre moments in the last 16 as replays showed Donyell Malen’s third Dutch goal it was apparent that there were a pair of random trainers laying just outside the penalty area.
I assumed this were left by a pitch invader who had been led away by security moments before.
It never dawned on me that the shoes would have been thrown by the stands.
Again, proving that in the confines of a football stadium fans think they can act how they want, some actually thought they would remove their own footwear so they could have something to cause harm with (I’m assuming they didn’t bring a spare set with them?).
Obviously, this person wasn’t content just throwing cups, which unfortunately has become such a recurrence at this tournament it’s almost been accepted ….

Fans Behaviour

I don’t think certain pundits have had a great Euros, but Alan Shearers analysis from Tuesday takes some beating.
He had just praised Fans behaviour at this tournament having literally just watched … Netherlands vs Romania!
The 53-year-old was literally sat in the studio watching a fixture paused due to a pitch invader, thrown cups and someone throwing a pair of trainers onto the pitch.
It’s bad enough that broadcasters are no longer condemning this, making out that having a drink thrown over a player every time they take a corner is part of the sport.
Youngsters at home (and some adults) need educating, not being told that supporters have behaved well when cups have been thrown at managers and players (some empty – some not), pitch invasions have taken place, laser pens have been apparent, and this week’s shoes and coins were thrown from the stands.

What do you think were the most interesting talking points?

Dan

Tags Cristiano Ronaldo Euro 2024

19 Comments

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  1. With regard to the tears of the multi millionaire, Ronaldo, the word “pathetic” springs to mind.The failure of his Manager to identify his lack of contribution to the team effort while allowing him to take all free kicks shows a lack of strong Management from Martinez.In my opinion Portugal would be a more effective side with Ronaldo on the bench, but due to his past achievements and his prodigious ego, that is unlikely to happen.

    1. I completely agree, and I think that has held the Portuguese national team back throughout his career, even during his prime. I really think it was significant that he was taken off early in the euros final they won (2016?) – it might be my memory (I’m admittedly quite biased) but I seem to remember Portugal playing much better without him, like a weight had been lifted, even back then.
      No one can take away what he’s achieved, and you have to respect the hard work he’s put in to achieve it, but he seems like extremely hard work to me.

      1. He injured himself in the Euro 2016 Final. Today the team would have been better off if he’d injured himself as well. Martinez bet on one moment of brilliance but against Saliba and Upamecano that was apipe dream.

      2. Ronaldo has held Portugal back in his career ?
        He captained them to their only trophy
        Is there top scorer
        Scored hat tricks at World Cup and in play off to make sure they qualified

        1. I told you, I’m biased, but I’ve often thought Portugal had very good players who played within themselves because they were under unnecessary pressure to *always* pass to Ronaldo, which stopped them from playing with freedom and forming a proper, cohesive team. It’s undeniable Ronaldo has had some great matches and some great achievements for Portugal, but I think at times it’s often been at the expense of the team.
          I might be wrong about euro 2016 but my recollection is that they struggled through a relatively easy path to the final (they apparently qualified the group stages as a third placed team behind Hungary and Iceland, after drawing all three matches) and the only game they won in normal time in the entire tournament was against Wales in the semis. My recollection (which might be wrong tbh) is that they deservedly won the final against a strong french side as they started to look like a proper team after Ronaldo went off injured in the first half. I don’t think he led them to that title, I think they won in spite of him and were fortunate he couldn’t play much in the final

  2. No your words were he held Portugal back throughout his career !
    Euro 2016 – top scorer in qualifying for Portugal…..Ronaldo
    In the Hungary game they needed a result and were twice trailing …..Ronaldo scored twice

    In knockout stages in last second his shot essentially assists the winner

    In knockout stages coverts his pen

    In semi final beats Wales …..Ronaldo scores

    Portugal top scorer at Euro 2016…..Ronaldo

    1. The point is they played poorly, in my estimation because there was a feeling they had to always go through Ronaldo – they might not have struggled so much against teams like Hungary without him. And yes, I think this held Portugal back pretty much throughout his career, I guess from some shortly after joining RM when his goalscoring numbers went through the roof.
      I found it interesting to contrast with bale in that tournament – it was different because bale, I felt, elevated his teammates, whereas Ronaldo was more of a weight on his.
      It’s not something that’s visible in those stats – I’d expect Ronaldo to be their top scorer had they played well or not because he’s one of the best goalscorers in history and took shots at every opportunity, but I didn’t think they played well with him in the team, because of his influence on how they played. Didn’t need to be like that.
      It’s possible Messi had a similar effect on Argentina for most of his career, though it comes across differently because he wasn’t so overtly arrogant. It was often implied that those players were held back by having teammates who weren’t good enough to play with them, but I don’t think it’s true, I think they were such superstars of the game, it was felt that everything had to go through them, which was a detriment to their teams.

        1. They could have won it more convincingly without him, or with him/them playing in a different way? They could have progressed further in other tournaments as well. They’ve consistently had very good squads for a long time now.

        2. Like I said before, I think it was highly significant that the only trophy they won ended with Ronaldo coming off very early in the final (arguably against the first very strong opposition they faced).

  3. Mate everyone is entitled to their opinion but there are some things that are so silly I either question someone’s knowledge or think they are trolling

    ‘Ronaldo has held Portugal back in his career ?’ is so outrageous a statement I cant interact with you lol
    148 goals in 246 games for his country who have never achieved anything better without him

    Will point it out whenever you praise an Eddie Nketiah, Kai Havertz, Saka or anyone

    1. You don’t seem able to understand the concept that a brilliant player (with an often strange and questionable personality/attitude) can actually be detrimental to a *team* performing well, particularly at the highest level.
      If you think it’s silly, that’s fine. I watched plenty of those games, and that was my impression. I understand you have a different view, as do many many others.
      “Will point it out whenever you praise an Eddie Nketiah, Kai Havertz, Saka or anyone”
      Why say that? It’s like you want to scare me into not giving my opinion… So if I say saka is brilliant after a game, you’ll be ready to pounce saying he’s not as good as Ronaldo? Just let it go, you’re being childish.

      1. No because you can’t deny facts
        Ronaldo is Portugal’s greatest ever scorer and the only trophy they won is with him
        Yes I will now use the same theory you have applied
        So if England or Arsenal win anything with Saka I will say he held them back because we dont know if they will do better without him as that’s your only argument

        1. Honestly, either you’re misunderstanding or being dishonest here – you’re misrepresenting what I said, obviously. I made other points (they won the toughest and most important game without him, they could have progressed further in other tournaments) but, to try to spell it out, my basic theory/argument is that I watched Portugal games and I believe they were often trying force play through him rather than making natural decisions on the pitch, and as a result they made fewer/worse chances and gave the ball away cheaply more often than they otherwise would have. When someone dared to take a shot from distance or made a bad decision, they were often berated, which I think they found inhibiting. It’s not really something you can disprove to be honest, because it’s just my recollection of what happened during the games I saw – you can say that I’m misremembering or exaggerating, which may be true (I don’t think so but I’ve been wrong before), but that’s about it to my mind.
          Re your saka example, I might make that argument if I thought saka’s attitude or way of playing was seriously detrimental to the way England/arsenal play and yet they were able to win regardless – nothing I’ve seen rises to that level at all.
          I even said bale, who was even better relative to his teammates than Ronaldo had a positive effect on his team in euro 2016 (which makes it hard for me to understand why you think the saka example makes sense) – that’s because bale didn’t play only for himself and didn’t berate teammates for their decisions or mistakes. Imo he inspired them, whereas Ronaldo inhibited his teammates. But that’s just my opinion.

          1. Again either lack of knowledge or trolling
            So Bale inspired at Euro 2016 and Ronaldo inhibited a team who …won the Euros
            Ronaldo got more goals and assists then Bale at the Euros

            No you said whole career he held them back
            So when I pointed out they have literally been more successful when he’s in team and pointed to goal record and that he won Euros you said we don’t know if they wouldn’t have done that without him

            I’m just saying let’s apply that to everyone going forward
            So if Havertz scores 30 goal I want to hear that he’s held us back based on we don’t know what would have been done without him lol

            1. “Ronaldo inhibited a team who …won the Euros” – for the 20th time, they won the final without him, which was by far the toughest game. And I’m going by what I saw on the pitch – Wales had a far weaker team than Portugal, bale and Ronaldo aside.

              I don’t think it can be lack of knowledge at this point seeing as you’ve given me all the facts – I think you wanted to say either I’m stupid or trolling but don’t want to make it personal, which is fair enough.
              I can’t make my view on it any more clear and you still seem to think applying the idea to someone like saka or havertz makes sense, when I’ve explained why it doesn’t.
              You haven’t proven anything – in your head if a player scores the most goals it apparently means they can’t be questioned. I say that isn’t necessarily the case, and I don’t think it was the case for Ronaldo with Portugal – that’s all.
              What is clear is that you’re desperate to win the argument over what is just my opinion, as has happened several times recently. I have a different opinion on some issues and that’s not going change based on these back and forths – if I’m wrong or stupid, then so what? Why can’t you just let it go at some point?

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