The presence of Cristiano Ronaldo is so towering that it can shadow any other happening in the world and when that gets coupled with a brace of late goals after a penalty miss early in the game, it breaks the world into chaos.
Last night, Portugal was pitted against Ireland in World Cup Qualifiers, and the match provided ample theatrics and drama until the last minute to leave the audience hooked to their seats.
Cristiano Ronaldo stars as the messiah for Portugal
The drama started unravelling early in the game when an inopportune tackle from Jeff Hendrick clipped Ronaldo in the box, resulting in a spot-kick. Sadly, for the Portuguese marksman, he drilled it into the right that was well-anticipated by the Irish custodian and Bazunu saved the spot-kick, sending ripples through the Irish crowd.
Breaking countless Portuguese hearts in the dying embers of the first half, John Egan scampered near the post to meet a delectable ball and thump it home from close range, drawing first blood for the Irish also daubing salt to Ronaldo’s wound of a missed penalty.
Portugal came menacingly close to restoring parity in the first half itself when Diogo Jota razed the woodwork and dragged the following effort wide.
After a resolute display of defending from the underdogs, Portugal managed to break free from the shackles, thanks to a thumping 89th-minute header from Cristiano Ronaldo who met a perfect cross to slam it into the bottom-right corner of the net, also equalizing the record of Ali Daei for the highest international goals scored with 110 under his belt.
Despite being pegged back in the last moments of the game, Ireland desperately wanted to share the spoils but Ronaldo had other plans. In the sixth minute of the five-minute added time, Ronaldo out-leaped his marker and glanced home another scintillating header to silence the roaring Irish fans once and for all.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s FPL legacy
This goal grabbed him the record of being the highest goal scorer in Men’s international football with 111 netters to his name. However, things didn’t really go as bright everywhere as FPL owners were concerned about his penalty miss.
Surprisingly, the £12.5-million-man in Fantasy Premier League was dropped a significant number of times after he failed to convert the spot-kick. He is a striker in the FPL and it is crucial for strikers to convert chances. Especially with Bruno in the hut, FPL players believe that it will be the Portuguese midfielder who must be shouldered with the onus of stepping up for the penalties.
With Ronaldo’s penalty saved, the FPL players weren’t really sure of splurging a boatload of an amount on CR7 as his failure to score will cost them heftily and won’t really gather them the points that they are looking forward to.
In the last three seasons in which Ronaldo was a part of the Premier League when the FPL started, he managed to rack up 244, 283 and 206 points respectively. His highest grab came in the 2007-08 season where he banged home 31 goals and strung 7 assists with an additional 35 bonus points.
He started his first season at a price of £10.0 that later leaped up to £12.2. In his second season, he started at £12.0 and ended up with a price of £13.7. In his final season, he started at £14.0 and ended at £14.2.
These figures must inspire the Ronaldo owners, but it will likely take a week for Ronnie to start the Premier League showdown.