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Ian Wright's Diogo Jota and Cristiano Ronaldo verdict says it all

Diogo Jota and Cristiano Ronaldo celebrate a Portugal goal against Slovenia.
-Credit: (Image: Photo by Harry Langer/DeFodi Images/DeFodi via Getty Images)


Ian Wright believes Liverpool forward Diogo Jota must be extremely disappointed to have been given a limited role for Portugal at Euro 2024. Losing to France on penalties in the quarter-finals of the European Championship in Germany, Portugal crashed out of the international tournament earlier than most anticipated this summer.

Jota, the 27-year-old signed from Wolves in 2020, didn't start any of Portugal's five matches at Euro 2024 and only made it off the bench under Roberto Martinez for a total of 97 minutes. When his country needed a goal against France, Jota wasn't turned to.

Instead, it was Cristiano Ronaldo who was the main man for his nation, despite the 39-year-old being far better suited to playing a role off the bench late in games against tired defenses. Ronaldo, now playing for Al Nassr in Saudi Arabia, took center stage, even during the dead rubber group game against Georgia, and he failed to score a single goal outside of penalty shootouts.

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The latest episode of The Overlap, sponsored by Sky Bet, was released earlier today and the panel has been having their say on Ronaldo, who was ultimately holding Portugal back at Euro 2024.

“When you look at them from defense to attack..." Ian Wright said, hinting at how much talent there was to be unlocked. But he added that Ronaldo was a talking point for the wrong reasons. "Does he retire now?" Gary Neville chimed in.

"I think the way he played at this Euro’s, despite how great he has been, surely Diogo Jota must be disappointed that he can’t get on that pitch," the Arsenal legend answered diplomatically.

Liverpool.com says: Jota would clearly have been a better option for Portugal than Ronaldo and he wasn't the only one who should have been in the team ahead of him. Unfortunately for Martinez, it would have been an even bigger story if he had taken Ronaldo out of the team. In a different way, that decision could have been even more damaging to his team's chances, which is not a particularly healthy way to enter a major tournament.