Cristiano Ronaldo has always been perceived as someone who wants to take his team to glory all by himself. There can be no doubt that the 29-year-old is one of the two best players in the world at the moment, but there has always been a lingering suspicion that he tries a bit too hard to do it all by himself instead of getting his teammates involved.
Two years ago, in the semi-finals of Euro 2012 between Portugal and Spain, the Real Madrid forward was seen as looking for glory during the penalty shootout. He had put himself down for his country’s fifth and final penalty: perhaps he thought that he would score the winning kick and lead Portugal to the final. Unfortunately for Ronaldo, the shootout did not go that far and his European Championship in 2012 ended in tears, just as it had eight years earlier in 2004.
At the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil, the Madrid star will once again be Portugal’s big hope and will be expected to give his all in his country’s quest for glory.
At 29, this is probably going to Ronaldo’s final World Cup appearance, and having now fully recovered from injury, he is expected to push himself and pull his team all the way.
The 2014 Brazil tournament will also be Wayne Rooney’s final chance to make an impact on the World Cup. The Manchester United striker will be 32 in Russia so this summer will mark the final realistic time that he will get the opportunity to make an impression on football’s biggest stage.
Having yet to score in the World Cup, the former Everton man will be looking to break that duck for England, but he insists that he is not going to hunt for personal glory.
‘I’m not a player who needs that’, he told The Guardian when asked if he wants to create his own legacy at the World Cup. ‘Cristiano Ronaldo … he has to have that. You admire him for that. You can see how he is. He wants his moments. I’m more about winning as a team. It’s more important to me’.
Rooney and Ronaldo are former United teammates and have a good relationship with each other. Just before the Champions League final last month, the former sent a Twitter message to the Madrid star wishing him the best of luck against Atletico Madrid. However, Rooney’s latest remarks may not go down well with Ronaldo, but will the Portuguese be able to deny them completely?
Answers on a postcard, please.