Former Aberdeen defender Kari Arnason today slated Portugal’s three time Balon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo as a ‘sore loser’ who ‘fannies about and dives around’.
Arnason produced a sensational performance in stifling Real Madrid legend Ronaldo as Iceland, with a population of 330,000 the smallest nation ever to qualify for the Euros, held Portugal to a shock 1-1 Group F draw at Euro 2016.
Such was Ronaldo’s frustration he refused to shake hands with any of the Icelandic players after the draw and accused them of having a ‘small mentality’.
Arnason, who along with Ragnar Sigurdsson marked Ronaldo out of the game in Saint-Etienne, hit back.
The Malmo defender said: “He’s just a sore loser.
“He didn’t want to lose the game.
“What does he expect – for us to play like Barcelona against him?
“He fannies about and dives around.
“Obviously we were the underdog, we played like the underdog and we were unlucky not to win the game.”
Arnason, 33, was a fans’ favourite during his one season at Pittodrie during 2011-12 before moving on to Rotherham.
In an interview in the Evening Express a week before jetting to France the defender, who has 18 months left on his Malmo deal, refused to rule out a return to Aberdeen before he ends his career.
It was a night when Ronaldo equalled Luis Figo’s all-time record of 127 caps for Portugal.
But Ronaldo grew increasingly frustrated and that continued after the final whistle.
After the draw with Iceland, Ronaldo said: “When they don’t try to play and just defend, defend, defend, this in my opinion shows a small mentality and Iceland are not going to do anything in the competition. I thought they’d won the Euros the way they celebrated.”
It was revenge for Arnason who suffered an 8-0 Champions League loss to Real Madrid last season with Ronaldo netting four. The Real star also netted twice in the 2-0 in Sweden.
Arnason revealed coach Lars Lagerback provided no blueprint to deal with Ronaldo other than watch him closely.
He said: “We didn’t pay any extra attention to him. Everyone knows how good he is so you have to know where he is at every moment but there was nothing in our game plan to specifically close him down.”
Nani netted a first half opener for Portugal before Iceland, population just 330,000 levelled in the 50th minute when a superb left-foot cross by Johann Gudmundsson was superbly converted by Bjirkir Bjarnason.