The biggest dream of any footballer is to play for his country at the world cup finals. Scoring at the world cup finals can make you an angel in the eyes of your countrymen. Many players who look immensely promising in the leagues fail to do so because of the pressure that gets to them. The pressure of carrying the hopes and emotions of an entire nation has shattered the performance of several exquisite footballers in the past.
Cristiano Ronaldo, the man from Portugal had played in three world cups for his country before coming to Russia for the FIFA World Cup 2018. He started his journey at the world cups at the age of 21 when he was already a settled player at Manchester United. Though Portugal reached the semis, Ronaldo was in the news more because of controversies than he was for his performance. He was handed the captain’s band in 2010 world cup after going through a dry run of 16 months without scoring for his country. Nothing much changed as Portugal were knocked out from the round of 16 with Ronaldo scoring just once in four games. He was heavily criticized by national media for his lackluster performance. The 2014 world cup was no better where the Portuguese side were low on luck as well as performance. The landed in the group of death and they were eventually knocked out from the group stage itself. With Lionel Messi steering his side to the finals of the tournament, Ronaldo’s credibility as a Portuguese footballer was in doldrums.
There’s no doubt that Ronaldo is one of the best players to have ever played the game. He played a pivotal role while his term at Manchester United and won every trophy possible with them. The same continued after his move to Real Madrid where he has won 4 champions league titles with them till now. The class of the player cannot be questioned when he has scooped 5 ballon d’or trophies in his cabinet. But when you fail to turn the heads at the world cup, the media and the crowd doesn’t spare you.
FIFA World Cup 2018 is already in full swing and every team is giving their all to get through to the next round. Ronaldo came to Russia as a 33 year old and this could well be his last world cup. Portugal played their first game against Spain and unlike the previous three tournaments, Ronaldo was in scintillating form. He scored the same number of goals in one game that he had scored in the last three tournaments. It seemed as if it was one man’s drive that was rowing Portugal. The game ended 3-3 and Ronaldo scored all three goals for his nation. He even scored against Morocco to guide his side to victory yesterday. The man who had 3 goals from 70 shots in the previous three world cups now has 4 goals from 5 attempts in world cup 2018. The man is on a mission and he surely wants to match the last dot to ultimate glory. FIFA World Cup is the only trophy that is missing from his trophy cabinet, and the intent that he has shown in the opening two games shows that its quite achievable for the miracle man.