Just over a week ago this blog wrote a piece for the Guardian. It suggested that Ronaldo was not the correct choice for Portugal captain; inevitably it got panned and accused of just jumping on the "Ronaldo sucks" bandwagon. 10 days later and it seems that it was correct all along.
The words of former captain Luis Figo say it all, "in the most difficult moments the captain must always face up for the group". And what did our beloved CR7 say in the aftermath of the Spain defeat? "Talk to Carlos Queiroz".
Ronaldo wants to be the face of Portugal when it suits him. Following the 7 nil drubbing of North Korea where Ronaldo was awarded the Man Of the Match performance, he publicly and correctly handed it to Tiago who had been superb. But when the chips came down and Ronaldo retired to the shadows it was Tiago who spoke up, "that's his opinion. The captain won't talk, but the rest of the players are here to talk".
Tiago was ready and willing to take on the responsibility of Portugal's exit. And why not, Tiago had a very decent tournament, so maybe was not afraid of the personal attacks which would surely be aimed at Ronaldo. Afterall, Tiago is not at fault for the defeat as he's 'merely' a midfielder whereas Ronaldo is the hero when we win and the enemy when we lose. That is what comes with being a captain.
António Simões, legend of the 1966 Portugal team "os Magriços" spoke up demanding a "greater sense of responsibility" from the captain, and putting his finger on the pulse suggesting that "when providing statements [he] must be consistent and coherent with the stature and responsibility he has".
Of course it has been overblown, and the player himself has come out and apologised. But to this blog, apologising after an act of extreme immaturity (I refer of course to the spit) and blame-pushing comments is cheap. It's easy to say "it was in the moment", but just like Rooney's petulant "nice to see some loyal support" comment, it's not what you come to expect from a captain. Perhaps that is why Rooney is not considered for the role just yet, as he's yet to mature.
Let me make something very clear; I am not lambasting him for his outburst per se, nor am I blaming him for Portugal's exit. I am not suggesting he is anything other than a special player either. What I am saying is that he is not captain material.
At the end of the Guardian blog, there was a quote by the man himself saying that "it's not through being captain or not that I will change".
That quote is clearer than ever now.