BARCELONA, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 29: Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid (R) and Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona look on during the La Liga match between Barcelona and Real Madrid at the Camp Nou Stadium on November 29, 2010 in Barcelona, Spain. Barcelona won the match 5-0. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Crisitiano Ronaldo;Lionel Messi2010 Getty Images
Cristiano Ronaldo took a clear swipe at rival Lionel Messi as he hit back at criticism for his poor performance in Portugal's 3-2 win over Denmark at Euro 2012.
Portugal needed a late strike from substitute Silvestre Varela to claim the vital victory in Lviv, Ukraine, on Wednesday after Ronaldo fluffed two highly-presentable chances in the second half to make the game safe for his country.
The Danish fans mocked Ronaldo with chants of "Messi! Messi!" throughout the Group B game as the man capable of superhuman performances for Real Madrid once again looked decidedly mortal in his national team colors.
But asked postgame about the chants, Ronaldo welcomed the chance to compare himself with his Barcelona rival, who he suggested had fared worse on a similar stage for Argentina.
"You know where [Messi] was at this time [last year]?" he asked reporters. "Do you know? He was being eliminated in the Copa America, in his own country. I think that's worse, no?"