Cristiano Ronaldo, who is leading Portugal in the ongoing UEFA Nations League tournament, talks about how the empty stadiums affect the mentality of players on the pitch.
Like several other sports, the beautiful game returned to action slowly in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. However, there are many protocols and guidelines that have been implemented across various leagues and tournaments around the globe, and empty stadiums is a must, as the stands filled with spectators are a big threat for virus contraction.
However, without the cheers and anthems that make up the atmosphere in a football stadium, playing without a crowd certainly is an alien feeling for all footballers, and Cristiano Ronaldo says that he is not really fond of it.
A circus without clowns: Cristiano Ronaldo on playing in empty stadiums
The Juventus FC talisman reached a milestone in Portugal’s 2-0 win against Sweden in the Nations League where the captain scored a brace, and crossed 100 international goals. He became the second male footballer to cross a century in internationals goals after former Iranian striker Ali Daei, who has scored 109 goals for Iran.
The tournament has also implemented the behind closed doors format, and the vacant seats of the arena is a distaste for the forward.
“It’s like going to a circus without clowns, going to a garden without flowers,” Ronaldo said in a recent interview.
“We don’t like that as players, but I’m already used to it. I do my pre-match meditation already knowing that the stadium will be empty,” the 34 year old added.
The remaining part of the 2019-20 Serie A season, which resumed on 20th June after almost four months of suspension, also featured no spectators in the stadiums, and for the Old Lady talisman,
Ronaldo went on saying that he even misses the opposition supporters: “I like when I’m jeered in away matches, it motivates me. But health has to come first and we need to respect that. But it’s sad.”
Portugal are now the joint leaders of the Nations League A Group 3 table with France, and they will take each other on 12th October at the Stade de France.