• Tuesday, Jan 31, 2023
  • Last Update : 10:24 am

Can CR7 lead Portugal to last 16?

  • Published at 02:41 pm June 25th, 2018
  • Last updated at 02:41 pm June 25th, 2018
Ronaldo-1-1529077773159.jpg
Portugal players during training in Sochi earlier this month Dhaka Tribune/Fazley Rabbi Moon

Current European champion Portugal, riding on their talismanic captain Cristiano Ronaldo, will target nothing but a win, and progression to the last 16 of the 2018 Fifa World Cup in Russia, when they take on combative Iran in a crucial Group B encounter in Saransk Monday.

So far the Portuguese were able to show some organisation against 2010 world champion Spain, drawing the game 3-3 after a brilliant Ronaldo hat-trick.

But they failed to exhibit the same performance against Morocco with only a moment of brilliance from five-time Ballon d’Or winner Ronaldo rescuing the Portuguese.

Now both Spain and Portugal, not to forget Iran, are targeting the top two places in Group B. A win or a draw for both Portugal and Spain will be enough for the two European powerhouses to move through to the Round of 16. 

It has all been about Real Madrid superstar Ronaldo in the first two matches but this time around, his teammates should come forward and share the burden with the Portuguese sensation.

Ronaldo has fond memories against Iran, having scored against them from the penalty spot in the 2006 World Cup in Farnkfurt in what was his first goal in the greatest show on earth.

But it will not be easy this time when they face Iran, coached by former Portugal tactician Carlos Queiroz. Iran have registered the highest number of clearances, tackles and saves in this tournament thus far, with 107. 

Team Melli have also conceded just once in two games, and that too was an unfortunate goal against Spain.

Every time Ronaldo touched the ball against Morocco, the Moroccan fans booed him heavily. A similar situation awaits CR7 as the venue for the Iran game, Saransk, is already brimming with Iranian fans. Persian language can be heard everywhere right now in Saransk.

Portugal have not been in the best of form defensively in recent times as the 1-0 win over Morocco was their first clean sheet since the goalless draw against Brazil in 2010.

It is often said Ronaldo loves challenges. And more often than not, he has produced the goods when the going got tough. So, can Ronaldo inspire Portugal one more time and lead his country to the last 16? Only time will tell.

50
Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail