Stop whining and start scoring, Ronaldo

Portugal forward Cristiano Ronaldo reacts during his team's Euro 2012 Group B match against Denmark...

Portugal forward Cristiano Ronaldo reacts during his team's Euro 2012 Group B match against Denmark in Lviv, Ukraine, June 13, 2012. (DARREN STAPLES/Reuters)

MIKE ZEISBERGER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:39 PM ET

KHARKIV, UKRAINE - Cristiano Ronaldo's fine whine over being mocked with chants of "Messi, Messi" by Danish supporters has international media and fans telling the Portuguese superstar to grow up.

If you think about it, it was a brilliant move on the part of Denmark supporters, although it didn't help their team in a 3-2 loss to Portugal Wednesday.

Ronaldo, after all, is considered the second-best player in the world behind Argentina superstar Lionel Messi. Having said that, the thin-skinned Portuguese striker has not performed that way in the past two major international tournaments, scoring just once at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and going without a goal in two games thus far at Euro 2012.

That didn't stop Ronaldo from making childish comments in response to the Danish fans.

"You know where (Messi) was at this time (last year)? Do you know?" Ronaldo said. "He was being eliminated in the Copa America, in his own country?

"I think that's worse, no?"

With a huge match looming against the Netherlands Sunday -- it will play a huge role in Portugal's quest to reach the tournament's last eight -- shouldn't he be concentrating more on the Dutch and less on his Argentinian rival?

Truth be told, Ronaldo needs to significantly pick up his game. He missed two huge chances in the latter stages of the match against Denmark, including one with the Portuguese up 2-1 that would have sealed the victory.

At 27, Ronaldo's legacy still has a number of chapters left to be written. Acting in such a juvenile manner isn't the way you would think he would want to be remembered.

FEELING THE HEAT

Speaking of whining, listening to Dutch manager Bert van Marwijk lament how the sweltering Ukrainian heat has sapped his players of much-needed energy late in games is not going to get him any sympathy.

Indeed, the Dutch made their own beds by opting to make Poland their Euro 2012 headquarters despite the fact that all three of their Group B games are being played in humid Kharkiv. Now they have to sleep in them.

The Dutch aren't alone. Partially because of fears of potential racism and fan violence in this country, only three of the eight teams who have their group games in the Ukraine opted to base their camps here -- one of those being the host country.

Ironically, most of that type of garbage has taken place in Poland, including at a Dutch practice where fans mocked Holland's black players with monkey chants. On those fronts, meanwhile, it has been relatively quiet in Ukraine, other than a couple of isolated incidents in Lviv and Kiev.

Temperatures on the pitch in games held in Ukraine generally have approached 40 C. On the other hand, it has been much cooler in Poland.

German coach Joachim Loew also admitted the heat has taken its toll on his team in the second half of games. But he has been quick to point out that, should the group-leading Germans advance to the final 16, their quarterfinal and semifinal games will take place in Poland.

THE TIES THAT BIND

For the Dutch to have any shot at advancing, they will have to beat the Portuguese Sunday and hope Germany does the same against Denmark. Under that scenario, the Germans would automatically move on while the Netherlands, Portugal and Denmark would be in a three-way tie with three points each.

UEFA's tie-breaking rules are too complicated to get into here. Suffice to say, it has something to do with goal differential in head-to-head games between those three teams.

In any event, the situation is a bitter one for loyal Dutch fans, who are having a hard time swallowing that any hopes rest with a victory by Germany, their most bitter rival in all of soccer.

FREE KICKS

England once again will be without the services of star striker Wayne Rooney when it takes to the pitch in Kiev against Sweden Friday. Rooney will be serving the second game of a two-match suspension he picked up during qualifying. He's eligible to come back for the Three Lions' showdown against Ukraine in Donetsk on Tuesday ... In two World Cups and three Euros, including the 2012 edition, Ronaldo has a total of just five goals. Germany's Thomas Muller scored that many in the 2010 World Cup alone.

mike.zeisberger@sunmedia.ca

twitter.com/zeisberger


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