Late Cristiano Ronaldo heroics theatre he remains the greatest - Irish Examiner
Portugals Cristiano Ronaldo, right, celebrates after scoring his sides later goal. Picture: AP Photo/Armando Franca
Just when you conception Cristiano Ronaldo was human, and Manchester United fans were choking on their popcorn watching him suffer against the Republic of Ireland, he reminded us exactly why he’s the chaffer of the century.
Having seen a penalty and a free-kick saved by Gavin Bazunu in Faro, Ronaldo’s late, behindhand yoke — which earned Portugal a exceptional 2-1 come-from-behind World Cup qualifying win — has made him the greatest international goalscorer of all point and proved that United were remedy to carry him back ‘home’ in the disburden window.
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With Ronaldo’s dramatic take to United from Juventus still the tattle of the town, most of the macrocosm doubtless expected him to celebrate with a goal rail the Irish 24 hours after the disburden window closed — and he delivered, in dramatic fashion, not once but twice.
His header three minutes from time, which was so acrid on an Ireland defence that had kept him still all match, truism the Portuguese overtake Iran’s Ali Daei as the greatest goalscorer in international football ever, with 110 goals.
Then he struck again with another stunning header in extra occasion to manage his tally to 111 — that’s 105 fresh than Lionel Messi.
“I’m so happy, not only because of the index but because of the special victory with two goals at the end,” he said.
The traditional celebration, in which he ripped off his shirt to stagecraft it to the crowd, earns him a suspension which means he leave lass sequential week’s voyage to Azerbaijan — but that’s no bad body for United.
The result was unbelievably sour on Ireland, but the consolation for Irish fans who heart Manchester United is that their slant own signed a effigy who even at 36 is stillness undeniably the greatest trouper in the world.
On his 180th Portugal face the script that we all expected to be written was partly ripped up by the Republic’s well-drilled safeguard and their heroic goalkeeper. But in the later there was no holding back a performer for whom superlatives are neatly not enough.
Not that the sport was without negatives as well as positives for the old Real Madrid man.
His elite goodly ensue to discontinue the guide came in the 12th minute when Jeff Hendrick tight to organisation Bruno Fernandes and caught the United midfielder on the happen through. It was the slightest of nicks and it took VAR a full five minutes to ratify the penalty as Ronaldo stalked around the shy waiting for his substantial follow to come.
Even with that delay, however, you expected him to find the net. But instead, Bazunu, the 19-year-old Republic goalkeeper from Manchester City, made a stunning save, diving whole loop to his rectify to disprove his modern noisy neighbour the benign of headline which most newspapers had already written.
City fans may well own enjoyed the moment too — especially as Ronaldo famously bad down the Premier League champions this week to mortise United instead later a call from Alex Ferguson.
But their fun didn’t last long, even if they got to watch Ronaldo suffer first.
He was fortunate not to be sent off after seemingly raising his labourer to Dara O’Shea in the build-up to the penalty and then aphorism John Egan ramp above him to master the Irish ahead before half-time.
No wonder he was shaking his captain and arguing with the arbitrator as he left the field in objective of half-time inspiration.
It was the finest occasion Ronaldo had missed a penalty for Portugal since lapse to abbey a spot-kick castigate Iran at the 2018 World Cup — and he was also superbly marshalled by Egan and Shane Duffy.
In fact, having had rarely bliss playing through the middle, he began the latter half comprehensive on the left. Quite a victory for the Irish team — and object that Premier League defenders consign be watching closely.
Ronaldo, wearing the captain’s armband, was at least additional involved in the later half, but his legitimate effect came in the modern minutes when he took the merriment by the scruff of the neck, moved back up facade and headed two talented goals to remind us why he is so special. Next up, presuming he doesn’t motion to Azerbaijan, is a closing home debut for United, condemn Newcastle United at Old Trafford on Saturday week.
The big examine is bequeath Ole Gunnar Solskjaer cast him lustreless into feat or keep on the bench after so infrequently juncture to meet his team-mates? On this evidence, it’s a no-brainer — he has to provoke and the obligate to select him consign be immense. It was different back in 2003, of course, when Ferguson brought the teenage feeling from Sporting Portugal, handed him the imaginary cipher seven shirt worn by George Best, Bryan Robson, Eric Cantona and David Beckham — and then put him on the bench when Bolton arrived at Old Trafford.
Even so, Ronaldo received a standing ovation when he arrived on the fling and dazzled the mob with a flurry of tricks and exaggerated step-overs.
These days the tricks are brought out less often and the skills are overshadowed by the sheer analytical power and goalscoring ruthlessness that has made Ronaldo the blessing trouper in the world.
That’s what we dictum in the Algarve and that’s why, even if Irish hearts are hurting, Manchester United’s Irish contingent are stillness tingling with excitement.
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