When Cristiano Ronaldo first came to the Premiership he was accused of being a one-trick pony. Plenty of stepovers but ‘no end product’.
However, in his fourth season with the club, he added goalscoring to his list of talents, finishing the third highest goalscorer in the Premiership with 17 goals, had the highest assists with 13, and a total of 23 goals. He was also named the PFA Player of the Year, PFA Young Player of the Year, PFA Fans’ Player of the Year and Portuguese Footballer of the Year.
Still, people claimed for all his goals, he wasn’t a big game player. Like several great players before him, it was believed Ronaldo was incapble of turning it on in the big games.
Then Ronaldo scored in the biggest game of them all, the Champions League final, adding to the FA Cup and League Cup finals he had already got on the scoresheet for. He’s scored on derby day and he’s scored against Liverpool and Arsenal.
Last night against Arsenal, in the Champions League semi-final, Ronaldo completely blew his opposition away. Scoring two goals and assisting our third, there was not a lot you could say to criticise his game. Sky Sports rated him 9, as did The Guardian and the Evening News. It was probably the finest example of his big game appearances and at just the right time! Like he noted last week, every game is like a Cup Final at the moment and we certainly need big game players in the squad to make it 18 and 4!