On Wednesday Cristiano Ronaldo broke another world record and became his country’s all-time top international goalscorer with 49 goals in 110 appearances. In Portugal’s 5-1 friendly win over Cameroon Ronaldo scored twice and he played down the significance of his latest achievement saying,
” I do not look to beat records. This happens naturally, with a lot of effort, dedication, with the excellent national team we have, a good coach. I knew that sooner or later it was going to happen.”
In spite of his modesty in this occasion, there is surely one achievement he could not possibly play down were he to claim it. He would become one of the indisputable all-time greats in football if Ronaldo could lead Portugal to World Cup glory in Brazil 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Ronaldo does not need a World Cup win to be considered great, claimed by Jose Mourinho. He may be saying the truth but it does not mean that Ronaldo, the 29 year old cannot be a World Cup winner.
Received wisdom suggests that in terms of quality Portugal are on a similar level to England and are thus it is highly unlikely for them to win the world Cup. However, anything is possible with a player of Real Madrid star’s quality. Cristiano Ronaldo has proved that several times. He is the type of player who can beat teams on his own, as he displayed in last November when his stunning hat-trick sent Portugal to the World Cup at the expense of Sweden.
In addition, his displays in EURO 2012 were equally impressive as Portugal reached the semi-finals only to be edged out on penalties by eventual champions and 2010 FIFA World Cup winners, Spain. The group stage of that game Portugal defeated the Netherlands, the beaten finalist of 2010 FIFA World Cup with Ronaldo’s stunning class. And Ronaldo is more furious and strong and skilful than he was in 2012. He is currently holding the FIFA Ballon D’or. In this season of La liga he scored 23 goals in 22 matches and 11 goals in six champions’ league appearances.
The reason Portugal are rare seen as legitimate contenders for the World Cup are because of the rest of the squad. But having some qualities in the squad it needs a little help for Ronaldo to reach his full potential. Players like Raul Meireles, Edinho and Fabio Coentrao, fellow goalscorers offered him a good support in the game against Cameroon. Monaco’s Joao Moutinho was a great help two years ago in Poland and Ukraine and if he finds that kind of forms once again Portugal could go far. But being the key player of Portugal, everyone will be looking for something special from Cristiano Ronaldo in every game they play in Brazil this World Cup. The history could be made if Ronaldo can see Portugal deep into the tournament.
Although there is certainly some huge pressure on Cristiano Ronaldo, if anyone could power an unfancied side to World Cup glory in this summer, it would be certainly him.