Magnus Ver Magnusson says Cristiano Ronaldo "acted like a p---y" in criticising the four-time World's Strongest Man's native Iceland for having a "small mentality." The tiny nation is famed for its strongman tradition, and Magnusson, one of the most well-known figures in his homeland after winning the title four times between 1991 and 1996, watched as his side beat the odds to advance to the knockout stage at Euro 2016.
Magnusson believes Iceland's relatively impressive history of sporting success makes a mockery of comments by Ronaldo, who accused Iceland of possessing a "small mentality" after celebrating their opening 1-1 draw against Portugal. The 53-year-old muscleman took particular delight in Arnor Ingvi Traustason's late winner for Iceland against Austria on Wednesday, which ensured they would finish second in Group F ahead of Ronaldo's Portugal.
"Cristiano Ronaldo acted like a p---y," Magnusson told Press Association Sport. "When he said Iceland was never going to win anything, I bet he never expected us to finish above them in the group. "Football is as much about the team as the individual, as Leicester City have already proved this season. I suspect even Ronaldo regrets making those comments in the heat of the moment."
Magnusson also backed Iceland to succeed against England in the round of 16, despite the countries' population disparity. "Of course it's a David versus Goliath match, but in football you must never underestimate the underdog because sometimes they will bite," Magnusson said.
"I was never the biggest or the heaviest when I was competing, but I was always up there, and that kind of determination has also helped these guys get through. They have the strong spirit and explosive power they need to succeed." Magnusson is one of two Icelandic athletes to claim the World's Strongest Man title four times; the other was the late Jon-Pall Sigmarsson, who regularly got the better of his famous duels with British rival Geoff Capes in the 1980s.
"Iceland is going crazy at the moment," Magnusson said. "The whole nation is behind the boys and everything seems to be coming together. "England will be the favourites to win, but we have shown already there is no reason we have anything to fear."