Ronaldo has seen a series of setbacks recently to his status as the best soccer player in the world. He is no longer the world’s highest player; he finished in third place in the running for Fifa’s Ballon d’Or. The match against Sweden should prove that Ronaldo is not going anywhere, especially as his three goals came against a talented Swedish team who have a superstar of their own, Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
The first half was relatively quiet for Ronaldo, but in the second half Sweden made an adjustment that would prove to be fatal. Manager Erik Hamren decided to put Sweden in attack mode in the second half in hopes that they could take away the one goal aggregate lead Portugal was holding.
That decision opened up the field for Ronaldo and he took full advantage. With Sweden playing more aggressively, Portugal was able to counter their attack with long crosses to Ronaldo coming out of the midfield.
Ronaldo’s first goal came in the fiftieth minute when teammate João Moutinho threaded two Swedish defenders and gave Ronaldo a one on one striking opportunity; which he buried in the right corner of the net.
Goal number two looked a lot like the first one. This time the pass was from Hugo Almeida, but the result was the same. A long, cross field pass to Ronaldo on the left side who, after controlling possession blasted, a shot into the same corner of the net.
The third goal was a bit more exciting but followed the same script. Ronaldo starts running from the midfield, receives a long, cross field pass and settles his position. But this time Ronaldo had to out run a Swedish defender and dance around the charging keeper before burying his third goal of the day, giving Portugal an almost assured entry into the World Cup.
Following his performance experts began to weigh in on Ronaldo’s status within this generation of players. Even Piers Morgan left the game wondering if Ronaldo was not the best player in the world. Morgan tweeted that he had always though Messi was the world’s best but that he doesn’t think, “any footballer has ever surpassed the levels Ronaldo is now reaching.”
If those kinds of accolades were not enough to make Ronaldo happy with his legacy, he has decided to take the Cristiano Ronaldo story into his own hands. Ronaldo has decided to build a museum that is dedicated to his life in the town where he was born; Funchal, Madeira.
The museum will be funded by Ronaldo and will showcase all the memorabilia he has received over the years. Diario de Noticias, a daily newspaper in Lisbon, reports that Ronaldo’s family sees the museum as “very important for the region because it will bring tourists from all over the world.”
Whether fans will view Ronaldo’s museum to himself in a favorable light or will see it as an act of inflated egoism remains to be seen. What does not remain to be seen is evidence that Ronaldo is still one of the very top players in the world, able to change any game into a sensational event.
Portugal’s 3-2 victory over Sweden proves Ronaldo is as good as it gets these days.
By Nick Manai