LISBON: If Cristiano Ronaldo can carry over the goalscoring prowess he has shown all campaign with Real Madrid into Euro 2012, Portugal fans can realistically hope that their side will escape from a tough group.
Although Paulo Bento’s unit are cast to a degree in the mould befitting a former defensive midfielder, the 2004 finalists can call on a peerless and prodigious talent in Ronaldo whose mercurial skills can, on his day, take them past any opponent.
Ronaldo has certainly been on fire with Real, even if his exploits were not quite enough to see off Bayern Munich in the Champions League semi-final, in which he missed a penalty, taking the gloss off two goals earlier in the contest.
His 54th goal of the season in all competitions at the Camp Nou last month all but ended Barcelona’s resistance in the battle for the Liga title as he outshone fellow goalscoring machine Lionel Messi, even if the latter did outscore him in La Liga.
At international level, however, the 27-year-old remains an unfinished product who flatters to deceive in a way very much reminiscent of England, which he lit up during his time at Manchester United.
Nevertheless, Ronaldo insists that they “will go to the finals with high expectations — though we have been drawn in a hard group”.