Chelsea v Manchester United - The Emirates FA Cup Final
LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 19: Cesc Fabregas of Chelsea during The Emirates FA Cup Final between Chelsea and Manchester United at Wembley Stadium on May 19, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Cesc Fabregas has downplayed Cristiano Ronaldo’s impressive start to the World Cup by stating that his goals have been down to set-pieces, penalties and mistakes

The Real Madrid superstar has carried over his sensational scoring stats over to the Portugal squad for this summer’s World Cup and began the campaign with a stunning hat-trick against Spain.

Ronaldo later scored the winning goal for Fernando Santos’ side to secure their first win of the World Cup against Morocco last week.

But Fabregas believes that Ronaldo’s accomplishments at Russia have been overexaggerated.

“These days, Cristiano Ronaldo has a very different role for Portugal — he mainly stays up front and you no longer see him running all over the pitch,” he wrote on his BBC column.

“He is one of the big names in Russia who has made a strong start to this World Cup, in terms of goals, with four so far.

“Yes, he is playing well, but if you really look at what he has done, he has scored one penalty, one free kick, one goal from a corner and one with a shot that David De Gea should have saved.

“You cannot say that he and Portugal have shown great combinations or tiki-taka football to score great goals.

“You have to give him credit, of course, but his goals have come from set-pieces, penalties or mistakes.”

Fabregas spoke in defence of his former Barcelona teammate Lionel Messi, who has struggled to replicate his performances at the Nou Camp for Argentina at the World Cup and has failed to find the back of the net after 12 attempts at goal in his opening two games.

“It was a similar story for Messi against Croatia, but it was not all his fault. As I said in my TV analysis after Argentina’s defeat, they look like a broken team,” continued Fabregas.

“So it is has been really difficult for him. He does not have the quality in behind him, when he needs someone who can help him build up the play.”