Tuesday 16 July 2019

'Ronaldo's shot was useless...apart from goal he didn't do anything' - Joe Ledley says Bale is superior to Real team-mate

Wales' Gareth Bale and Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo
Wales' Gareth Bale and Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo

Harry Clarke

Joe Ledley has criticised Cristiano Ronaldo, claiming the Portugal captain "didn't really do anything" apart from score the crucial first goal in Wales' Euro semi-final defeat.

Ledley hailed history-makers Wales and insisted his side were beaten by "two crappy goals" while also stating that Gareth Bale is a more consistent player than his Real madrid counterpart Ronaldo.

"We have created history as no other Welsh team has gone further than us, and it's going to be a good few years before another team beats that," said Ledley.

"Hopefully they do, but what we've achieved is history-making. We'll go down as legends, hopefully.

"But we deserved to be in the semi-final. We battered Belgium, who are second in the (FIFA) rankings, as we played them off the park.

"Portugal just wasn't our day, it wasn't meant to be in the end."

On Ronaldo, Ledley said: “He’s one of those players who frustrates you. He’s never in the game compared to Gareth [Bale]. He’s always in the game, always on the ball, always wanting it, always dribbling and always trying to do something.

"They scored two crappy goals - Ronaldo's shot was useless. Normally he hits them from there, but he scuffled the cross for a tap-in.

"With the header the guy can leap but apart from that he didn't really do anything in the game."

Wales' goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey, Joe Ledley, Aaron Ramsey, James Collins and Gareth Bale before the match

When it was put to him that he was no fan of Ronaldo, Ledley said: “You can’t disagree with his ability. He’s a fantastic player, one of the best in the world. But we just had one of those days where things he did came off. He’s now in the final and you wish him well."

Wales seek to build on Euros success when they start their World Cup campaign at home to Moldova in September.

Austria, Georgia, the Republic of Ireland and Serbia are also in the group and the 29-year-old Ledley feels Wales are in a good place to qualify for Russia in 2018.

"This is the first competition we've been in for 50-odd years and we've enjoyed every minute of it," said Ledley.

"We were just one step away from where we wanted to be and we're looking at this as a stepping stone to Russia.

"The feeling is that this is the start of something rather than the end.

"I feel I'm getting a bit old and the World Cup will probably be one of the last competitions I'll play in.

"It'll be the same for some of the other players too, so we need to build on this and work as hard as we can going into the next qualifiers.

"We have had a taste of this and we want to keep going.

"We're a hungry bunch of players, we prove that week-in, week-out, and to be in the top four teams of the European Championship means a lot to us."

Joe Ledley will miss Wales' homecoming party as he heads off to Ibiza to get married.

It had been thought Ledley would cancel his wedding following Wales' incredible run to the semi-final of Euro 2016.

Ledley had been due to get married in Ibiza on Saturday and he confirmed after Wales' 2-0 semi-final defeat to Portugal that he is still heading to the Mediterranean island to tie the knot with partner Ruby May.

It means he will miss the big 'welcome home' party in Cardiff on Friday with thousands of fans expected to turn up and salute Chris Coleman's squad.

"The boys are going back to Wales to see the fans but I've got a wedding to attend," said Ledley.

"I don't feel I need to go back and see what we've achieved means to the supporters.

"I know deep down how much their support from back home meant to me.

"I've got a wedding to think about. It's Ibiza for me now."

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