LISBON – Portugal’s most capped player Luis Figo has defended Cristiano Ronaldo after their 1-0 opening Group B defeat by Germany at Euro 2012, saying the team must improve his supply lines to get the best out of the forward.
The Real Madrid striker had a disappointing game on Saturday in Lviv, decided by Mario Gomez’s 72nd minute header, and rarely threatened to score.
“I think the team need to give him the chances to have a good performance,” former World Player of the Year Figo, 39, said at the Volvo Ocean Race stopover in Lisbon on Sunday.
“Cristiano’s style is to finish, to score, so if the team don’t produce those kind of opportunities then of course his performance is down.”
Figo, who won a record 127 caps for Portugal, scoring 32 goals, and helped them reach the Euro 2004 final where they surprisingly lost to Greece, said they would now need to win their remaining two games against Netherlands and Denmark.
“We have to improve. Portugal were not so efficient in the opportunities we had. We don’t have time for any more mistakes – we have to win the next two games.”
Figo will later on Sunday board a competing boat, Abu Dhabi, when the Volvo Ocean Race goes around Lisbon port before it continues to the next stopover in Lorient, France.
His former Real Madrid team mate Zinedine Zidane did the same in Alicante, Spain, at the start of the round-the-world sailing event which finishes in Galway, Ireland on July 7.