Thursday, April 2, 2020

Cristiano Ronaldo Once Again Proves His Worth On International Stage

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There’s no question Cristiano Ronaldo is a consensus Top 2 player in the world right now. In fact, it wouldn’t be a stretch to consider him as one of the Top 10 – or even Top 5, to some – players of all-time. The former Real Madrid and Manchester United star continues to amaze and break records left and right while co-existing with another all-time legend such as Lionel Messi.

However, there’s one area where Ronaldo clearly edges the Argentinian superstar – his performances on the international stage. Even though both Ronaldo and Messi are the respective all-time leading scorers for Portugal and Argentina, CR7 has been far more decisive for the European side in comparison to what Messi has done for La Albiceleste.

While Messi has lost back-to-back Copa America finals in 2015 and 2016, Ronaldo lifted the European Championship in 2016 and now has sent Portugal to the UEFA Nations League final. He did it in the way he knows best – netting a hat-trick during his side’s 3-1 win over Switzerland this past Wednesday.

Ronaldo steals the show against Switzerland in the UEFA Nations League

CR7 opened the scoring for Portugal in the 25th minute with an impressive free-kick that left Yann Sommer absolutely helpless. And while Switzerland equalized early in the second half, Ronaldo saved the best for last. He scored the winning goal in the 88th minute with a shot form near the penalty spot following a pass from Bernardo Silva, and closed things out in the 90th minute with a trademark goal. On the counter, Ronaldo left a defender behind with a stepover and place the ball into the far post and out of Sommer’s reach.

With the three goals, Ronaldo now has 88 goals in 157 caps with the Portugal National Team. He’s been so good at the international level, that he ranks as the second-best international goalscorer of all-time. He only trails Iran’s Ali Daei, who scored 108 times for his country. But given Ronaldo’s goalscoring rates with Portugal, it wouldn’t be a stretch if he tops that mark.

Now he will attempt to lift the UEFA Nations League trophy with Portugal. Just like he did in the 2016 European Championship. And just like he’s done it so many times throughout his career at the club level. And we can only expect Ronaldo to bring his A+ game to the tournament’s final match this next Sunday.

Portugal might face England or the Netherlands. But regardless of the opponent, CR7 will be ready for the challenge.


Juan Pablo Aravena

A freelance writer and sports analyst with almost five years of experience in the industry before joining SoccerNews, Juan Pablo Aravena is based in Chile and currently contributes to several publications and websites including SoccerNews, 12up, and Sports From The Basement, while also working as a fantasy beat writer for RotoWire, as a database editor for EA Sports, and as a football analyst for SmartOdds and InsideFutbol. His areas of focus are Serie A, Bundesliga, Premier League, LaLiga, and Ligue 1, but he has also written about MLS and South American football in the past.



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