Photo Courtesy of: Jamie McDonald/Getty Images
The Euro 2012 is one month of competitive soccer at the highest level, perhaps second only to the World Cup. While it’s not devoid of a number stars, the biggest name without a doubt is superstar Cristiano Ronaldo.
While he may have had a dazzling season at Real Madrid, he enters the tournament with a need to reestablish his image on the world stage.
With Portugal, Ronaldo has the chance to break free from comparisons to his arch-rival, Lionel Messi and shake off his reputation as a player who withdraws in big games.
However, it won’t be an easy task as Portugal’s roster as it’s currently constructed and the fact that the team is in Group B (otherwise known as the group of death) will require Ronaldo to play nearly perfect to advance.
Even with the odds stacked against him, Ronaldo seems to embrace this challenge.
The man who is known on an international level as being self-centered, a diver an individualist and spoiled is actually more of an enigma then what he is described as.
During the 2010 World Cup, when Portugal lost in a heartbreaking fashion, the media chose to focus on then perceived criticisms of then-coach, when that was far from the truth.
Ronaldo described himself as a “broken man” and there was no spoiled, individualist performance.
He is in fact, a proud Portuguese, one who will do what is takes to win on the big stage and bring Portugal it’s first Euro Cup.
“For me it’s an honor to represent Portugal,” Ronaldo said. “I’ll give my very best, as I always do. We’re not favorite, but the favorites can’t always win, so I believe Portugal can do well.”
Under current coach Paulo Bento, Ronaldo is more of a natural captain then he’s ever been in the past and his deep-seared desire to be the best is still burning deep within.
“We know that we’re in the most difficult group in the European Championship, but we can’t dwell on that,” said Ronaldo. “We’ve known it’s the case for months. I think we’ll do good work here and go through to the next phase.”
An ignited captain is good for Portugal, good for the Euro and good for Ronaldo to finally shine on the big stage.