Is Cristiano Ronaldo’s free-kick taking ability a myth? When was the last time the Real Madrid star scored a screamer for Portugal at a major tournament?
The three-time Ballon d’Or winner looked set for late heroics against Iceland at Euro 2016 on Tuesday when he was given the opportunity from the dead ball late on.
Ronaldo sent his first free-kick into the wall, but a handball saw it moved closer. His second was also fired straight at the Iceland wall.
It added to what has been a prolonged dry spell with free-kicks at major international events.
Statistics from Opta reveal that Ronaldo has taken 34 free-kicks (18 at the World Cup and 16 at the European Championship) and failed to convert any of them in 28 major tournament games.
Worryingly, only eight have even hit the target.
Of the remainder, 13 have been blocked and 13 have missed the target.
MOST DIRECT FREE-KICKS TAKEN AT MAJOR TOURNAMENTS (Since 1978, European players)
34 (scored 0) – Cristiano Ronaldo
27 (0) – Gheorghe Hagi
25 (2) – Michel Platini
22 (0) – Ronald Koeman
21 (2) – Zinedine Zidane
18 (0) – Wesley Sneijder
18 (0) – Francesco Totti
17 (2) – Hristo Stoichkov
17 (1) – Fernando Hierro
16 (1) – Sinisa Mihajlovic
According to Opta, Ronaldo has a conversion rate of 6.9 per cent in the league and Champions League for Manchester United and Madrid.
He has scored 41 direct free-kicks from 594 attempts in those competitions.
Of European players at major international tournaments since 1978, Gheorghe Hagi (0 from 27), Ronald Koeman (0 from 22), Wesley Sneijder (0 from 18) and Francesco Totti (0 from 18) also never converted.
David Beckham was renowned for his free-kick taking and his record was two out of 13, while former Germany international Thomas Hassler is the most efficient after netting two of 10.
MOST EFFICIENT DIRECT FREE-KICK TAKERS AT MAJOR TOURNAMENTS (Since 1978, European players)
20 per cent – Thomas Hassler
15.4 per cent – David Beckham
11.8 per cent – Hristo Stoichkov
9.5 per cent – Zinedine Zidane
8 per cent – Michel Platini
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