Arsenal of talent
He calculated the trajectory of the ball with frightening precision, flashing quickly to his left at the last second. With an imperious flick of his outstretched left boot, the ball was helplessly committed to everything that would happen afterward as a defender crashed to the turf trying to clear the danger. They idly watched as he pivoted towards goal, letting him take two touches with a casual poise that belied his menacing intent.
A controlled effluence of fury, laces through the ball, and he had scorched the back of the net with a ferocious left-to-right veering effort from 30 yards…
Couldn’t we all wax eloquent in description of so many of Cristiano Ronaldo’s masterful goals?
But this final edition of my series, and indeed this World Cup from Portugal’s point of view, will not be about Ronaldo. Goals like the one described above against Armenia in Euro 2016 qualification may decide the outcome of some individual matches, but I believe the success or failure of Portugal’s 2018 World Cup campaign as a whole rests on other factors.