Wales had been having a fairytale dream run prior to the semi final match against Portugal. The dream run was ended by Portugal when they beat the Welsh 2-0 in the semi finals. Cristiano Ronaldo was the ‘man of the moment’ for Portugal as he scored one and assisted another to put Portugal into the finals of Euro 2016.
The match started with a dream match up between two of the Europe’s best players battling for supremacy. It was a treat for the neutrals and some tense moments for the Real Madrid fans as they saw two of their best players turn rivals on the field. The first half started with notable absentees for both the teams, with Ramsey missing out for Wales and Pepe missing out for the Portuguese outfit. Two of them have been so crucial for their teams in the group stages, and pivotal points for the team’s achievements so far. Ramsey had been the focal point of Welsh mid-field. The link up play between Bale and Ramsey had been one of the min reasons for their success. Wales missed the creativity and technicality of Ramsey and it was evident in the match. For Portugal, Pepe was clearly the best player even when it had superstars like Nani and Cristiano Ronaldo. Pepe had been so consistent and his work rate was good, often making some good interceptions and tackles. Pepe was not just good at the back, at times he led the counter upfront as well.
The first half ended with Gareth Bale and the Wales team taking the honours. The first half ended with the score at 0-0. Ronaldo looked a bit off-colour while Bale threatened the Wales defence more often. In other words, Collins did well to keep Cristiano Ronaldo in his pockets.
When the second half got underway, none even gave Cristiano to come good in the game, and thought Bale would make Wales dream again. But as is the case with the legends of the game, they would not give up. They keep coming back again. The script was written for Ronaldo when he jumped in the air over the defenders and scored the first goal through a thumping header. Ronaldo is undoubtedly the best player in the world when it comes to heading the ball, and yesterday he proved just that. After the goal, Portugal kept penetrating and Ronaldo kept on oozing with confidence. The second goal was coming, and it didn’t take much time to put the game past Wales. Ronaldo tried for a shot, which was intercepted by Nani to send the goal-keeper in the opposite direction and put the ball past the goal line.
Ronaldo is seen as an arrogant, self-boasting player by many but when it mattered the most the man with the armband stood up with a goal and an assist. His leadership skills have been very good and one of reasons why Portugal has qualified for the finals. He pulled a master stroke in the penalty shoot-out when sending Joa Moutinho for the spot kick. Portugal have had unluck in major tournaments and world cup before, but not in this Euro Cup. They are into the finals and with that performance Ronaldo puts a strong case for Ballon D’Or!