Portugal and Sweden faced off for one spot in The World Cup. The stage was set for two world class footballers to face each other. Swedish captain and star striker Zlatan Ibrahimović vs. the Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo. It was Cristiano Ronaldo at the end of the day who made sure that his country was going to get a spot in Brazil 2014. The 28 year old forward put on a world class display in both legs between both squads. Ronaldo netted four goals in two matches. One in the first leg to give Portugal a one goal advantage going into the 2nd leg, and a memorable hat trick in the 2nd leg to defeat Sweden and Zlatan Ibrahimović’s two goal effort.
His hat trick at the Friends Arena in Sweden displayed what the Portuguese captain is all about. Pace, technique, and football smarts all blended into one. He was a threat on every counter attack Portugal had, his passing was crisp, and he could have scored more if it wasn’t for some brilliant defending by the Swedish back four.
Ronaldo at the club level has been on a scoring spree, and it spilled over to the international stage. Ever since Sepp Blatter’s (the current president of FIFA) controversial comments on how he prefers Argentine forward Messi, Ronaldo cannot stop scoring. It feels as if he is using those words from the FIFA president to fuel his motivation to perform better. Whatever he is using for motivation, Real Madrid and Portugal are benefiting from it.
With his recent performances in the past two months and with Lionel Messi being injured, does Ronaldo finally dethrone Messi, and take the title as the best player in the world? Who knows? But the one thing that is for certain is that we will see Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal in Brazil.