Saint-Étienne (France) (AFP) – Iceland coach Lars Lagerback called for stronger sanctions for football’s “acting” problem ahead of his side’s historic clash with Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal on Tuesday.
Lagerback has previously described the display of Ronaldo’s Real Madrid and international teammate Pepe in the Champions League final as worthy of a Hollywood performance.
And ahead of Iceland’s first ever appearance in a major tournament, Lagerback — who managed his native Sweden five times at major finals and Nigeria at the 2010 World Cup — wants retrospective action taken against players who dive.
“I’ve said for many years I don’t like acting on the pitch,” said the 67-year-old.
“I’ve said for many years you should be able to suspend players after, so I think that would be good for football in general.
“Big acting I think is so unfair, especially in these short tournaments. If you get many yellow cards or a red card because players are acting for me that is very unprofessional.”
However, Lagerback insisted he has no special plans to man-mark Ronaldo, who is aiming to become the first man to score in four different European Championship finals.
“Everybody knows Ronaldo is one of the best players in the world, so of course we will have an extra eye on him,” he added.
“At the same time, as we always say if you have the quality and collective skills of Portugal it is about the team, but of course we will do everything we can to close down Mr. Ronaldo.”
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