Pundits think Portugal better with Milan’s Rafael Leao replacing Cristiano Ronaldo

Milan star Rafael Leao ‘changed the game’ against Ghana even aside from his goal, said Luis Goncalves, while Didi Hamann claims the younger man should start rather than Cristiano Ronaldo.

The 3-2 victory was hard-fought in their World Cup opener, as a soft Cristiano Ronaldo penalty was cancelled out by Andre Ayew.

Leao came off the bench and within a minute they had restored their lead with Joao Felix, then two minutes after that Leao scored with his first touch.

The response was largely unanimous from pundits, as Portuguese tactician and former Mozambique national team coach Luis Goncalves told A Bola that it was a “cautious” first half until “the substitution that changed the game in favour of Portugal. The introduction of Rafael Leao gave more depth, pace and creativity to the side.

Rafael Leao’s arrival was decisive. Soon after, Joao Felix scored, then Rafael Leao made it 3-1 with a classy finish. Whenever Portugal picked up the pace, they created problems for the Ghanaian defence, but conceded for 3-2 when Joao Cancelo switched off.”

Speaking in his role as a pundit on RTE, former Liverpool player Hamann went even further in his analysis of the situation.

Portugal look pedestrian with Ronaldo. I think Leao has got to come into the team because they just lack pace throughout the pitch, and if you haven’t got pace in modern football it’s very hard to create chances from open play.”

Ronaldo made history with that penalty as the first man to score in five different World Cup tournaments.

4 Comments on “Pundits think Portugal better with Milan’s Rafael Leao replacing Cristiano Ronaldo”

  1. Disrespectful to CR7. When it matters most he is always there. A penalty in those moments calls for a clutch player and of course he is not going to have the legs for a full game. After all he is nearly hitting 40 and he ruined his career twice. Once which started the downfall under Prophet Max and then back to that rainy dump which gets dark at 2pm and 4pm in summer time.

  2. Hahaha.. it’s always fun to watch Slownaldo girls can’t accept critics to their old relic slownaldo.

  3. Ronaldo is legend and hero of Portugal, and Portugal have to win world cup with their hero, no matter that he is not same anymore, he made portugal proud all his carreer and now its time for portugal to give him what he deserved.

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