United are eliminated and Cristiano Ronaldo could be out of the Champions League after 20 years

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United are eliminated and Cristiano Ronaldo could be out of the Champions League after 20 years

In his face, Cristiano Ronaldo did not hide his frustration. Being eliminated from the Champions League in the round of 16 was a huge blow for the Portuguese.

This Tuesday (15), the ace’s team, Manchester United, was defeated by Atlético de Madrid, in England, by 1-0, and said goodbye to the competition at the beginning of the knockout stage. In the first leg, there was a 1-1 draw in Spain.

Author of the assist that resulted in João Félix’s goal in the first confrontation, Brazilian Renan Lodi was the one who swung the English net this time, still in the first half, in the 41st minute.

Shortly before, at 33, Félix scored, but the bid in which he finished for the goal was annulled for offside at the beginning of the play.

With the exception of a shot from outside the area, those were the two arrivals of the Spaniards on goal. From the beginning, the hosts created pressure and dominated possession of the ball, but were unable to reach the goal.

By opening an advantage on the aggregate scoreboard, Atlético maintained the same posture in the final stage, with the lowest defensive lines and still counting on the nervousness of United players.

Cristiano Ronaldo struggled to write a different story. Especially since he has always made clear his obsession with Europe’s biggest club competition.

It is no coincidence that he boasts impressive numbers: he is the player with the most goals (141), with the most games played (187), the one who gave the most assists (42), the one who converted the most penalties (19 ), was six times top scorer, in addition to being the greatest champion, with five trophies.

Since the 2003/04 season, when he started his first spell in Manchester, the Portuguese has always been present on the main stage of European football, whether with the shirt of the English team, Real Madrid or Juventus.

The last time the Champions League did not have Cristiano Ronaldo was in the 2002/03 season, when he was still a promising youngster at Sporting, who failed to advance from the preliminary stage of the tournament to the group stage.

Now, the already consecrated ace lives for the first time the fear of being left out of the championship. In addition to the early fall in European competition, Manchester United is in fifth place in the Premier League, just behind Arsenal, fourth place and owner, at the moment, of the last spot for the next edition of the Champions League.

The difference between the two teams is small, just one point (51 to 50), but the London team has three games less than the squad led by German Ralf Rangnick. The distance to the championship leader, Manchester City, is even greater: 20 points.

Recently, Cristiano Ronaldo made a strong outburst about the imminent possibility of his team ending the season without titles and without qualifying for the Champions.

“I don’t accept that our mentality is less than being in the top three in the Premier League. I don’t want to be here to be sixth, seventh or fifth. I’m here to try to win, to compete,” he told Sky Sports.

His stance helped fuel a slew of speculation about his continuation at United in the event of an early failure at the European tournament.

English tabloids such as The Sun and Mirror even claimed that he could move to PSG at the end of the season. The Mirror even went further and published a report in which it claimed that United themselves regretted bringing the Portuguese back.

Rumors were fueled not only by rumours, but also by the star’s own public criticism. It would also have weighed against him the irritation of part of the squad with the fact that he had traveled to Portugal on the eve of the derby with City, on the 6th – at the time, he was injured and could not play, but the English press questioned the his decision not to be present even in the locker room.

In the next game, he managed to stifle criticism. And he did it in his style, with three goals in the duel against Tottenham, in the 3-2 victory, also in the Premier League.

In addition to earning praise from Rangnick, he became the top scorer in official games history, according to FIFA, with 806 goals. He left behind the Austrian Josef Bican, author of 805.

The gala performance showed how important he is to the team. Without him, by the way, United would hardly have advanced from the Champions League group stage, after all, he scored half of the team’s goals in the competition (6 out of 12).

More difficult, however, will be to predict the future of the star’s relationship with the English team after that hard defeat against Atletico Madrid, and the uncertainty of returning to play in Europe’s main club tournament.

Also this Tuesday, Benfica beat Ajax in the Netherlands 1-0, with a goal from Darwin Nuñez, and is qualified for the quarterfinals. In the first leg, in Portugal, there was a 2-2 draw.

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