'Colossal' Ronaldo to turn Fado into Samba at World Cup
By Daniel Alvarenga
LISBON (Reuters) - Portugal's headline writers were running out of superlatives to describe Cristiano Ronaldo's stunning hat-trick performance against Sweden as the Portugal captain set his sights on lighting up the World Cup in Brazil.
"I am here," Ronaldo shouted as he stood proud as a peacock on the pitch in Solna after one of his three goals in Portugal's 3-2 playoff win on Tuesday that catapulted his country into next year's finals in Portuguese-speaking Brazil.
On Wednesday, the sad, somber tunes of Portuguese national music Fado gave way to the cheery flamboyance of Brazil's Samba as Portuguese newspapers captured the jubilant national mood.
"Colossal," "The greatest," "We have super man," "Out of this world," "Alo Brasil," were some of the headlines that greeted the nation this morning, with all the reports giving Ronaldo a maximum 10 out of 10 for his magnificent display.
Ronaldo's treble took him to the top of Portugal's all-time scoring chart level on 47 goals with Pauleta. With 109 caps, 18 fewer than Portugal's record holder Luis Figo, the Madeira-born Ronaldo is destined to break all the national team records.
However, despite playing in the last five major international tournaments, Ronaldo has been criticized for not producing the sort of form for Portugal that he has for his clubs Manchester United and now Real Madrid.
At Euro 2004, a 19-year-old Ronaldo was left in tears after the hosts lost to unfancied Greece in the final. Although he was picked for the team of the tournament, he scored just twice. Continued...