Cristiano Ronaldo v FC Porto: A Portuguese against his own people
Tonight is mission impossible for European Champions Manchester Unitedâ€¦ Itâ€™s a kill or be killed and a do or die affair. The Red Devils need to avoid the fate of English teams on the ground of the Dragons, and everyoneâ€™s eyes are on one man under no other name but Cristiano Ronaldo to deliver.
Ferguson to Ronaldo: Correct your guilt.
The 67-year-old Scot who is dreaming of clinching two more Champions League trophies before retiring in 2010 is getting more severe over his teamâ€™s performance after managing a disappointing 2-2 draw at Old Trafford.
Ferguson reprimanded Cristiano Ronaldo a few days ago for his costly mistake against Porto last week which led to Rodriguezâ€™s 4th minute opener; now the manager demands some miracles from the United squad and from the World Player of the Year especially.
“At this stage of the season, with every game so big, you expect your key players to go into overdrive,â€ Ferguson stated.
â€œOf course we’ve got the players who can win the game for us. Match-winners who can rise to the big occasion, that’s really important.”
Cristiano Ronaldo will have a point to prove tonight as he faces the prospect of crushing out of Europeâ€™s most prestigious competition â€“ the UEFA Champions League. The reigning UEFA Top scorer found the net only once in Europe this season and heâ€™s yet to torture his opponents with instant killers.
FC Porto and Cristiano Ronaldo, two great enemies
The Estadio do Dragao is such a significant venue for former Sporting Lisbon Star Cristiano Ronaldo!
This is where the Portuguese number 7 was booed off and jeered by the supporters of Sporting Lisbonâ€™s rivals FC Porto in 2004. The pressure on Ronaldo was so intense that he had to be substituted; and his angry gesture as he reacted to the provoking crowd didnâ€™t go unseen by UEFAâ€™s officials who then handed him a one-match ban. Manchester United eventually got booted out of the competition that same night.
Many years have gone by since then, and the grown kid from the Madeira Island is now the captain of the Portuguese national team and the European and World Player of the Year.
The talismanic number 7 and his English club stand at the wrong side of a 2-2 first leg draw, so tonightâ€™s game promises to be nothing less than a fierce battle.
After suffering a humiliating night at the Estadio do Dragao as a 19-year-old and after cheaply giving the ball away eight days ago (which was the source of Rodriguezâ€™s opener), the pressure is on Cristiano Ronaldo to perform as a true Worldâ€™s Best Player and ultimately help his teammates to overcome the Dragons on their own territory.
The bells of woes are ringing for the Red Devils to deliverâ€¦
Written by: Angela Asante
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