Cristiano Ronaldo Will Steal Show in First Round of International Champions Cup
With his La Liga rival, Lionel Messi, out of the picture, Cristiano Ronaldo is set to steal the show at the first round of the 2013 International Cup of Champions this coming August.
Per Kevin Baxter of the Los Angeles Times, the former World Player of the Year will join Real Madrid and seven other clubs at the event, which will kick off in Valencia this weekend. Ronaldo's squad will open up against the reigning MLS champion Los Angeles Galaxy in Phoenix on Thursday.
But let's face it, all eyes will be on Ronaldo, who scored 55 goals for Los Blancos last season after netting 60 the year before.
Arguably the most dangerous player in the game, a jolt of electricity shoots through the stadium seemingly every time the Portuguese international touches the ball. And for many fans in the United States, who only get to watch Ronaldo on television, this summer's tournament offers a rare opportunity to see one of the best play in person.
Sure, Ronaldo isn't the only big name set to showcase his talents in America this summer. But Ronaldo and Barcelona's Messi are widely regarded as the top two players in the sport, and both are entering the prime of their careers.
The numbers and the all-important eye test confirm that. And with no Messi present to entertain the masses, it'll be up to Ronaldo to deliver.
While the reigning World Player of the Year, Messi, has recorded many more goals than appearances over recent years, Ronaldo has done the same, scoring 201 goals in 199 career appearances for Real Madrid since joining the Spanish giant in 2009.
Who will leave the biggest mark on the 2013 ICC?
But to judge a player's greatness on goal count alone isn't fair. The argument can be made that fans will be watching the most complete football player on the planet this summer at the International Cup of Champions.
Whether he's striking fear into the hearts of the opposition off a free kick, scoring with his off foot or smashing a header through the posts, Ronaldo has few weaknesses in his game, making him the marquee name on display.
Perhaps the biggest and most recognizable name in the sport, Ronaldo is sure to do what he does best this summer: put on a show football fans won't soon forget.
Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter.
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