Ally McCoist risks wrath of Cristiano Ronaldo with statement about Portugal star

Laura Woods hosting Euro 2024 with Ally McCoist
-Credit: (Image: ITV)

Ally McCoist has risked the wrath of Cristiano Ronaldo by saying Roberto Martinez should consider dropping him from Portugal's starting XI.

No player in world football has scored more international goals than the iconic 39-year-old, who is competing in his 11th major international competition for his country. However, he is yet to find the back of the net for Martinez's side at Euro 2024, although he did provide an unselfish assist for Bruno Fernandes when played clean through on goal during Portugal's 3-0 victory over Turkey.

If Ronaldo was to be dropped, then the former Wigan Athletic and Belgium manager will have the likes of Paris Saint-Germain forward Goncalo Ramos or Joao Felix of Barcelona waiting in the wings to replace him. McCoist, who is Scotland's only remaining representative in Germany for the competition after Steve Clarke's side were knocked out at the group stages, believes Portugal would be a better team if Martinez utilises one of his other striking options.

While speaking to talkSPORT Bet, McCoist, 61, said: “I’m not so sure that Cristiano Ronaldo should be starting every game for Portugal. That’s something Roberto Martínez needs to take a look at.

“However, it’s remarkable and fantastic what his team-mates from over the years say about him. His work ethic is a perfect example for any young player coming through.

“There’s nobody on this planet who has worked as hard at their game, body and diet. He’s got as much out of his body as possible.

Head Coach Roberto Martinez of Portugal and Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal gesture during the International Friendly match between Portugal and Republic of Ireland at Estadio Municipal de Aveiro on June 11, 2024 in Aveiro, Portuga
Ronaldo is yet to score at Euro 2024 -Credit:Getty Images

“That said, he can’t go on forever. He’ll probably want to start in every game at the Euros, but I’d be very surprised if that’s the case.

“Roberto Martinez will be monitoring him and letting him have days off here and there. He’s at the age where he knows his own body better than anyone else so they’ve just got to let him get on with it.”

As well as being their most famous player and highest ever goalscorer, Ronaldo is also Portugal's captain. During Portugal's World Cup campaign, which saw them get knocked out in the quarter-finals by Morocco, Ronaldo started the first two matches against Ghana, Uruguay and South Korea, before he was dropped for their 6-1 round of 16 victory over Switzerland and the loss to the North Africans.

DORTMUND, Signal Iduna Park, 22-06-2024 , European Football Championship Euro2024, Group stage match no.23 between Turkiye and Portugal. (L-R) /tp[08 scores 0-3, Portugal player Cristiano Ronaldo, Turkiye goalkeeper Altay Bayindir
Martinez was waxing lyrical about Ronaldo's assist for Fernandes -Credit:Icon Sport via Getty Images

Martinez has lent on Ronaldo ever since he took over the reins at Portugal in January 2023. He has stood by the five-time Ballon d'Or winner, despite the fact he is now playing his football for Saudi Arabian side Al-Nassr.

Considering his extremely enthusiastic praise for Ronaldo's generous assist for Fernandes, Martinez will be leaning on him again in the knockout stages. When asked about his pass, Martinez said: “That is a pure moment of Portuguese football.

"That is an example that should be shown in every academy in Portugal and in the world of football, that the team is the most important thing. That assist probably means more than scoring any goal.”