Chelsea midfielder, Cesc Fabregas, has played down Cristiano Ronaldo’s contribution at the 2018 World Cup and insists Argentina’s struggles are not all Lionel Messi’s fault.
Writing in a column for BBC Sport, Fabregas, who was left out of Spain’s squad for the tournament, said that Ronaldo’s four goals in two games, including a hat trick against La Roja, “have come from set-pieces, penalties or mistakes.”
Fabregas also praised former Barcelona teammate, Messi and bemoaned Argentina’s lack of quality, after their 1-1 draw with Iceland and 3-0 loss to Croatia.
“It was a similar story for Messi against Croatia, but it was not all his fault.
“As I said in my TV analysis after Argentina’s defeat, they look like a broken team.
“So it is has been really difficult for him. He does not have the quality in behind him, when he needs someone who can help him build up the play,” Fabregas said.
Fabregas, who played alongside Messi at Barcelona, also said Ronaldo does not have to work as hard for the Portugal team.
“These days, Cristiano Ronaldo has a very different role for Portugal – he mainly stays up front and you no longer see him running all over the pitch,” he added.
“He is one of the big names in Russia who has made a strong start to this World Cup, in terms of goals, with four so far.
“Yes, he is playing well, but if you really look at what he has done, he has scored one penalty, one free kick, one goal from a corner and one with a shot that David De Gea should have saved. You cannot say that he and Portugal have shown great combinations or tiki-taka football to score great goals.
“You have to give him credit, of course, but his goals have come from set-pieces, penalties or mistakes.”