Cesc Fabregas has played down the contribution
of Cristiano Ronaldo at the World Cup and said
that 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 this
summer’s 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 as they have drawn with Iceland and
lost to Croatia putting them on the brink of an
early World Cup exit.
“It was a similar story for Messi against Croatia,
but it was not all his fault,” Fabregas said. “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

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Fabregas — who played alongside Messi at
Barcelona — says his Ronaldo does not have to
work as hard for the team and that explains why
he has been able to flourish.
“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
“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
Argentina must win their final group game
against Nigeria on Tuesday to stand any chance
of progressing to the knockout stages, while
Portugal need just a point against Iran on
Monday to advance.

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