Iceland defender Kari Arnason has laughed off Cristiano Ronaldo’s criticism and labelled the Portugal forward a “sore loser” following the 1-1 draw in St Etienne, Sky Sports reports.

Iceland marked their first game at a major international tournament by fighting back from a goal down to earn a point in their Group F opener, Birkir Bjarnason cancelling out Nani’s 31st-minute strike.

But Ronaldo was less than impressed with Iceland’s tactics, suggesting they showed a “small mentality” in holding on to the draw rather than trying to win the game.

However Arnason, who was superb in denying Ronaldo any more than a couple of chances, suggested such a response showed why Lionel Messi would always be “one step ahead of him.

“It makes it even sweeter when he’s a sore loser like that,” he said.

“I mean, he can say whatever he wants. He didn’t really get a chance today, he got one and he couldn’t put it away. What can I say? Sore loser.”

“He had a header in the final minutes of the game and a chance in the first half but otherwise I thought we had him under control.

“We didn’t set up to man mark him or anything, we just had to know where he was at any given moment and that he will shoot from outside the box and that everything has to be blocked.

“He’s a fantastic footballer but he’s not a gracious human being and the thing is we almost nicked the win so he saying we weren’t going for the win contradicts that.”

“We got a draw and could have nicked it. Obviously we’re not going to create as many chances as a fantastic team like Portugal but his comments are the reason why Messi is always going to be one step ahead of him.

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