Cristiano Ronaldo: Striker Must Put Portugal on His Back to Escape Group Stage
Portugal looks to get back on track in the 2012 European Championship against Denmark on Wednesday. There are a lot of factors that could determine the fate of the Portuguese squad in this match, but nothing matters more than the performance of Cristiano Ronaldo.
This is not exactly a surprise, since everyone knows that Ronaldo has been the best player on the planet for the last five years. He always manages to find that extra gear necessary to carry his team to victory.
How far will Portugal go in Euro 2012?
Portugal needs answers in a hurry to make sure that its hopes to advance to the knockout phase of this tournament. Ronaldo is the biggest answer this squad has, and he has the skills to make everyone around him better.
In Portugal's first match in this tournament against Germany, Ronaldo scuffled. He couldn't find any rhythm whatsoever, and, unsurprisingly, the squad could not figure out a way to overcome the limitations of its biggest star.
As the New York Daily News wrote in its preview for this match, Ronaldo has a lot of pressure on his shoulders to perform in this particular tournament.
Ronaldo's needs a good Euro 2012 to cement his place as one of the world's best. Real Madrid were convinced of that when they paid United a record fee of 93 million euros (131 million dollars) for the player, who earns some 13 million euros per year.
The boy from Funchal, capital of Madeira, has already won titles in Portugal, England and Spain, along with a Champions League and a Club World Cup. However, now at 27 and captain, he still finds himself fighting the stigma of being always second best.
While Ronaldo is not the kind of player you traditionally see taking over an entire game, since his style is simply to put the ball in the goal after being set up by a teammate, this is the time for him to take control using his natural skills.
Being the best player in the world comes with a lot of pressure. All eyes are going to be on Ronaldo in this particular match, and throughout this tournament as long as Portugal is playing. He needs to have the best matches of his life against Denmark on Wednesday and Germany on Sunday to keep this country going.
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