Zack Goldman succinctly and eloquently on Ronaldo & Euro 2012.
This morsel of golden writing might’ve got lost in the shuffle last week. We excise it from TSG-Page Two. The whole preview is excellent, but this piece–per some acknowledgement on Twitter–deserves its own promotion.
Portugal: Ronaldo (Duh.)
For the second tournament in a row, the Portuguese are in the group of death. In this case, Ronaldo does have a reason to whine.
I’m really sorry. I wish I could offer you something more creative or tactically interesting than just talking about Ronaldo. The reality, though, is that Ronaldo is the key to Portugal’s fate in this tournament—and, intriguingly enough, this tournament is in some ways the key to Ronaldo’s own fate as a legend of the game.
European glory this summer would go a long way for the Madrid star’s legacy, starting with aBalon d’Or and an acknowledgement that he was able to bring the international triumph that the likes of Eusebio and Figo could not. Of course, we could talk about any one of the other big names in the lineup, from Pepe to Nani, but Ronaldo is clearly the x-factor. He must show up for Portugal to have any chance of getting through this group. If he ‘goes Ronaldo’ on everyone, who knows what success might follow
(Author’s note: ‘Going Ronaldo on everyone’ refers to the soccer version of the Kobe Bryant underbite—the ‘I’m rolling up my shorts and pointing to my Iberico ham haunch of a thigh’ mindset that Ronaldo gets into. It refers to that moment where you meditatively concede to yourself that this man, as much as you may dislike him, might just be right—that this is his world and we just live in it. Messi has made my jaw drop hundreds of times with his goals, but when Ronaldo ‘goes Ronaldo’ on everyone, it is an entirely different brand of “Oh my God”).