Video clip Ranking: 4 / five
3 goals from Cristiano Ronaldo during Portugal’s 2014 World Cup Qualification match against Sweden was exactly what the 2013 FIFA Ballon d’Or winner needed in order to catapult his country into the next stages of the worldwide event.
For the longest of times, Cristiano Ronaldo has been heavily criticized for his performances with Portugal as he fails to perform at the same level that he does with his club, Real Madrid and his performance in the 2014 World Cup was once more another one to forget for the Portuguese attacker.
The star of Real Madrid has admitted to the public that Portugal never really had a chance of winning the 2014 World Cup.
Cristiano Ronaldo told reporters: ‘’Maybe we are an average team. It would be a lie to say that we are a top team. We have a very limited team and we are not at the best level. This does not enable you to beat top teams. There are no miracles. We knew we would have a tough group, with perhaps teams better than us. I am not a hypocrite. I never thought we could be world champions, we have to be humble and know our level’’
A consistent knee injury troubled Cristiano Ronaldo’s performances in the international scene with Portugal as he seemed to be out of place with his country and failed to live up to the expectations that were brought with him ever since the Real Madrid player claimed the 2013 FIFA Ballon d’Or as he was considered to be the best player of the world by a slight margin just above Lionel Messi.
Even though both Messi and C.Ronaldo are considered to be the best players in the world, neither of them managed to fully standout during the 2014 World Cup but they are hungry for more titles with their respective clubs as their next season kicks off in August for both of them.
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Real Madrid could inflict more pain on their arch rivals Barcelona when the two sides meet each other in the Copa del Rey final on Wednesday night. Madrid, though, have been given a huge blow with the news that they will be without Cristiano Ronaldo for this key match. Ronaldo has been the inspiration behind several victories for Madrid since 2009. The forward has almost scored a goal per game since joining Madrid in £ 80 million deal from Manchester United. Barcelona will be at full strength for this match and they will be looking to put behind the back-to-back defeats they suffered last week.
Despite the absence of Ronaldo, club icon Santillana believes that the club will be able to lift the first silverware this season. The former Spanish international says that Madrid manager several victories in the past and they will continue to do so even without Ronaldo. There will be a lot of pressure on Barcelona after they were knocked out of the Champions League and suffered a league defeat all in the space of a few days. The league defeat has put them three points behind Real Madrid, while Atletico Madrid have been able to extend their advantage even more.
Barcelona now need to make up four points over two clubs in the remainder of the season to think about league success.
“Real Madrid have played and won without Ronaldo before. They have coped with his absence as a team. But there’s no denying that he gives something extra to the team, just like Lionel Messi does to Barcelona. They have so much quality that they can win titles on their own and the rest of the team knows that. A team consists of 11 players, but fact remains that Ronaldo and Messi are the best in the world,” said Santillana.
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Video Rating: four / five
Luis Figo is regarded as one of the finest Portuguese footballers of his generation. He has played for some of the biggest clubs in the world like Barcelona, Inter Milan, and Real Madrid. His move from Barcelona to Real Madrid made him the worst enemy in the eyes of Barcelona fans, which even led to a pig’s head being thrown onto the pitch when he returned to the camp Nou with Madrid. Figo did not play much during his final season at the club despite being a record signing only a few years ago. He now believes that the decision to drop him was taken by president Florentino Perez.
Figo has no grudges about being placed on the bench at 18 years old, but it is very difficult for the 33-year-old to take. Figo then left to Inter Milan where he is now an ambassador. He has also compared his position at Madrid to that Iker Casillas is experiencing right now. Casillas is widely believed to be heading towards the exit door either in January or in the summer. Figo has also revealed that he does not have any bad feelings about what happened to him in his final season at Madrid because life just goes on.
“Yes, it did happen to me (getting dropped to the bench), no doubt about it. But it’s in the past and I move on from that. There’s no issue. I’ve already spoken my feelings. I was calm when I left [Real Madrid]. Everything comes to an end; you move on and look for happiness elsewhere. It’s like anything in life, but even more so in football. People have very short memories. What counts is what you did last weekend or during the last two weekends,” said Figo.
Figo is one of the celebrated Portuguese footballers after having won numerous titles at club level.