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On Sunday night, European champions Belgium suffered a 1-0 defeat against Belgium to exit Euro2020 at the last-16 stage.

It was a disappointing end to a tournament for one of the most highly-rated teams in the competition.

Romelu Lukaku & Cristiano Ronaldo share a moment. Respect. @RomeluLukaku9 🤜🤛 @Cristiano #EURO2020 pic.twitter.com/15AjggXUd4

— UEFA EURO 2020 (@EURO2020) June 27, 2021

The Selecao’s squad was far more talented than the one that surprised many by winning Euro 2016. Not only does it have the evergreen talents of Cristiano Ronaldo, but a group of other players who perform for clubs at the highest level of the game.

The likes of Bernardo Silva, Diogo Jota, Bruno Fernandes and Ruben Dias are all at top Premier League clubs, while central midfielder Renato Sanches has just helped Lille win the Ligue One title ahead of big-spending PSG.

That’s without talking about the likes of Andre Silva and Joao Felix. In short, there is a lot of talent in that Portugal squad. Yet, they seemed to always rely on Ronaldo to come up with something special to win games.

It is almost as if the other talented players within the squad don’t bother being at their best because they think that Ronaldo will save them.

The veteran star more often than not does save them, but he was unable to on this occasion, against a quality, if ageing Belgium team.

What made the result even more difficult to take is that Belgium lost star midfielder Kevin De Bruyne through injury. Taking the Manchester City man out of the Red Devils team certainly weakens them. Portugal pressed for an equaliser, but couldn’t find the vital goal.

The Selecao will now have to lick off their wounds and concentrate on qualifying for next years World Cup. Many of the same players will be in the Portugal squad if they make it to Qatar and will be determined to do better than their last-16 exit at Euro2020.

It remains to be seen if Cristiano Ronaldo will be in the Portugal squad if they qualify for the World Cup. However, he has certainly proved his doubters wrong in the past.

— UEFA EURO 2020 (@EURO2020) June 27, 2021

If he is, then the other players need to step up and not just rely on the ageing superstar to win them games.