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Golden Boot Contender

Golden Boot Contenders: Cristiano Ronaldo

In this week’s Golden Boot Contenders feature Soccer Laduma looks at Cristiano Ronaldo and discusses whether can be the leading goal-scorer in Brazil.

This season, Ronaldo has hit his best ever goal-scoring rate, averaging 1.11 goals per game for Real Madrid.

With 16 goals in the Champions League, he has broken the record for most goals in a single European Cup campaign. In addition, he is likely to finish at least as Europe’s shared Golden Boot winner, equalling 31 league goals with Luis Suarez.

On international level, everyone remembers his four goals against Sweden in the World Cup qualification playoff, which helped Portugal to progress 4-2 on aggregate.

Ronaldo’s World Cup record, however, is not as flourishing as many would expect. At the 2006 World Cup he scored his first World Cup goal with a penalty kick against Iran.

He helped his country progress through the group stage, and to beat the Netherlands 1-0 in the last-16. Controversy arose around him in the quarter-final against England when he reportedly called for his then Manchester United teammate, Wayne Rooney, to be sent off.

Portugal won the match in penalties, with Ronaldo converting the fifth penalty for his country. In the semi-final Portugal lost 1-0 to eventual champions France and in the third-place playoff they were defeated 3-1 by Germany.

Ronaldo missed out on the Best Young Player of the Tournament award to Lukas Podolski after the jury stated his behaviour was a factor in their decision.

In South Africa in 2010, Ronaldo was voted Man of the Match in all three of Portugal’s group matches and scored one goal in the 7-0 thrashing of North Korea. The other two group games against Ivory Coast and Brazil ended 0-0, but Portugal advanced to the last-16.

However, the World Cup ended for Portugal with a 1-0 loss against eventual champions Spain.

Ronaldo also featured in the EURO 2004, where his country finished second and he was voted in the Team of the Tournament.

The EURO 2008 wasn’t as successful for Ronaldo and Portugal, but he again silenced his critics at the EURO 2012 leading his country with three goals into another semi-final. Despite their 1-0 defeat against eventual champions Spain, he was again voted into the Team of the Tournament.

The 29-year-old has been capped 110 times for Portugal and is his country’s all-time record-scorer with 49 goals. He captains Portugal since 2008.

In Brazil, Portugal have been drawn in Group G with Germany, Ghana and the USA.

Do you think Cristiano Ronaldo can be the leading goal-scorer at World Cup in Brazil? Have your say in the comment section below.

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