Cristiano Ronaldo, one of the greatest footballers of all time, has had a significant impact on the Portuguese national team throughout his illustrious career. His contributions on the field have often been the difference between victory and defeat for Portugal on numerous occasions. Here are five instances where Ronaldo’s heroics saved Portugal:
1. Euro 2016 Final: In the final against France, Ronaldo’s dream of winning a major international tournament with Portugal seemed to be in jeopardy when he was forced off due to injury in the 25th minute. However, his influence extended beyond the pitch as he motivated and guided his teammates from the sidelines. Portugal eventually won the match 1-0 in extra time, with Ronaldo’s leadership playing a crucial role.
2. World Cup 2018 Qualifiers: Portugal faced a must-win situation in their final group stage match against Switzerland to secure direct qualification for the 2018 World Cup. Ronaldo rose to the occasion and netted a stunning hat-trick, leading his team to a 2-0 victory and securing their spot in the tournament.
3. Euro 2020 Qualifiers: In a crucial Euro 2020 qualifier against Lithuania, Portugal found themselves trailing early on. Ronaldo single-handedly turned the game around by scoring four goals, leading his team to a resounding 5-1 victory. His remarkable performance showcased his ability to inspire his teammates and lift the team when it mattered most.
4. Euro 2020 Group Stage: In the opening match of the Euro 2020 group stage against Hungary, Portugal faced a stubborn defense that refused to concede. It was Ronaldo who broke the deadlock with two late goals, securing a 3-0 win for his team and becoming the all-time leading goal scorer in European Championship history.
5. World Cup 2018 Round of 16: Portugal faced Uruguay in the Round of 16, and Ronaldo’s individual brilliance was on full display. He scored a sensational goal to equalize for Portugal, but it wasn’t enough as they were eliminated after a 2-1 defeat. Nonetheless, Ronaldo’s performance showcased his ability to carry his team even in the toughest of matches.
Time and time again, Cristiano Ronaldo has proven his worth to the Portuguese national team. Whether it is through his exceptional goal-scoring ability, leadership qualities, or sheer determination, Ronaldo has saved Portugal on multiple occasions, leaving an indelible mark on the nation’s footballing history. His contribution to the success of the Portuguese national team cannot be overstated, and his legacy as a savior for Portugal will forever be remembered.