What Is Ronaldo’s Role In This Portugal Team?
Cristiano Ronaldo. CR7. One of the greatest footballers to ever lace up a pair of boots. Ronaldo has been at the center of every team he has been a part of for nearly 20 years. However, one person that even the great Ronaldo can’t beat is Father Time.
Lately, the mercurial talent has seen a drop in his form, culminating in him leaving Manchester United and being dropped for Portugal’s round of 16 clash with Switzerland. With them through to the last 8 of the 2022 World Cup, what is Ronaldo’s role in the team moving forward?
What is truly underestimated about the Portuguese talent is his ability to lead, especially when it comes to his national side. Ronaldo has been Portugal’s captain since 2008. That leadership has not waned amongst controversy surrounding him coming into the camp, as Portugal looks united and playing well as a team. In fact, after some stellar performances, anyone placing World Cup bets on them to win it all would see they are fourth favorites at +600, just behind Lionel Messi’s Argentina, who are at +500. Although, by looking at any World Cup predictions discussing Ronaldo’s Golden Boot chances, you would see that he is a long shot at +6600.
Ronaldo may be a long way off from being the top scorer of the World Cup after only bagging one goal in the group stages. However, even after he was benched, he blocked out the distractions and could be seen celebrating with his team whenever they scored against Switzerland.
The all-time leading international scorer has proven before his leadership to his national side. When he went off injured in the Euro 2016 final against France, he was cheering on and coaching his side from the touchline. If the same were to happen in the World Cup, you could be sure Ronaldo would be there for his teammates.
One thing Ronaldo brings is goals. He’s already scored over 800 goals for club and country and it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that he could add at least one more to his total before this tournament is out. Whether he starts or comes off the bench, Ronaldo could be what decides a tight contest when it comes to the latter stages of the competition.
Portugal has an abundance of scoring talent and has proven in the tournament that they’re not stuck for goal scorers. However, Ronaldo is used to playing on the biggest stages and coming up in massive moments. His ego may make the media paint a negative picture of him, but it also drives him, allowing him to step up when his team needs him most. Ronaldo may be off form, but he can still put the ball in the net if the chance presents itself.
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Filling in where he is needed
Having won five Champions League titles, the Euros and countless domestic league and cup trophies, the one thing he needs to complete his collection is the World Cup, and he is willing to do anything to capture it. If that means not starting some of the games along the way, he would be willing to sacrifice some of his own personal gains for the greater good of his country. Yes, for his club, he has shown his arrogance and not shrouded himself in glory sometimes, but he has always been willing to do whatever it takes for his national side.
Whatever happens in the World Cup for Portugal, be sure that Ronaldo will be the name on everyone’s lips. Whether he plays a starring role or not, he is sure to contribute in some way or another.
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