Tuesday, June 24, 2014

That gorgeous cross by Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo

...was America's worst nightmare!

If anyone doesn't know who Christiano Ronaldo is...now they know. Some regard the 29 year old Captain of Portugal as the best soccer player on planet Earth. He became the most expensive footballer in history when he moved from Manchester United to Real Madrid in 2009 in a transfer worth £80 million (€94 million/$132 million). Rolando's contract with Real Madrid, under the terms of which he is paid €21 million per year (after taxes), makes him the highest-paid footballer in the world.

Sunday afternoon, Ronaldo who has been playing despite a left knee injury, showed flashes of his best, but his impact was minimal until the final seconds of the match when curled the ball in to a diving Varela, who headed past Tim Howard to give the Portuguese a 2-2 tie and a slim hope of advancing to the second round and deny the Americans instant advancement.

"He made a great cross," said Howard, Ronaldo's former teammate from their days at Manchester United. "Football's cruel sometimes."

Take a look:


The elegant crossing pass was why they call soccer the beautiful game. The way he curled the ball takes your breath away. Americans will never forget that assist/goal.


When they hear his name, it's the first image that will come into their mind. Some U.S.A. fans had gently mocked Rolando before the game, consuming Messi highlights and forgetting about Rolando.

That's a shame...

Ronaldo cut out a piece of America's heart as U.S.A. was beginning a raucous party in the closing seconds of the game. Varela's header also was spectacular as well...and it's now his signature moment...captured on the brightest stage.


To put this in American sports terms....this is the equivalent of Ray Allen hitting that 3 in closing seconds to tie up game 6 last year to put the game into overtime. Everyone knew the Spurs were going to lose the overtime period, as well as game 7. Now U.S.A. has to beat a healthy Germany to assure themselves a second round birth.


The advancement scenarios for Team USA when it plays Germany on Thursday:

1. Win against Germany
2. Tie Germany
3. Have Ghana-Portugal match end in a tie
4. Win tiebreaker with the Ghana-Portugal winner

The World Cup tiebreakers are as follows:

1. Goal difference in all group matches
2. Goals scored in all group matches
3. Points in matches between tied teams
4. Goal difference in matches between tied teams
5. Goals scored in matches between tied teams
6. Drawing of lots

Team USA and Germany currently each have four points, while Portugal and Ghana have one. Germany in plus-4 in goal differential, USA is plus-1, while Ghana is minus-1 and Portugal is minus-4.



That gorgeous cross by Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo was America's worst nightmare!